Geographic scope: Africa
Active Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique.
Initiated in 2009
The Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew) (originally named The African Cashew Initiative (ACI)), intends to establish a sustainable cashew value chain, as well as increasing the competitiveness of African cashew production/processing. It is focused on five countries in the African region.
Members: Private sector (Intersnack, KraftHeinz, Olam International, Red River Foods Inc, Walmart), Government (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ministry of Food & Agriculture of the Republic of Ghana, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food security for Burkina Faso), Donors (German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), African Cashew Alliance, Trade & Development Group, Cotton and Cashew Board, Sustainable Trade Initiative, United States Agency for International Development, INCAJU), Civil Society (Fair Match Support).
Lack of competition in the Cashew sector and poverty.
Launched by a multi-stakeholder partnership approach, the platform is mainly funded by the Germany Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where other members contribute to their specialty in the Cashew Value Chain.
The platform intends to facilitate information sharing amongst different actors on a national, regional and international scope, within the public and private sector level . Known previously as the African Cashew Initiative, the platform has two stages; the first phase, which has now been completed (2009-2013) focused on the whole cashew value chain, the second phase (2013-2015), combined all the training activities from phase one and is putting emphasis on creating linkages between farmers and processors, as well as better planting in order to increase cashew yield and quality.
Intentions and aspiration
To increase sustainability and competitiveness, create business relationships amongst all stakeholders in the value chain, create homogenous goals at the regional and national level, use the support of donor programs.
The platform’s vision is to increase the amount of annual income, jobs and the rate of process of cashew nuts for small-holder individuals amongst the value chain, especially farmers and women, contributing to poverty reduction. The platform neglects the use of child labour in farming activities and ensures social responsibility through its partners. Moreover, ComCashew operates amongst four areas to achieve their aims:
- Supply chain linkages, and
- Strengthening the organisation of the cashew sector.
Arrangements and capacitities
The platform, which is governed by three teams in Germany, Ghana and Burkina Faso, has commissioned GIZ (German International Cooperation) to manage the projects and be the facilitator of cooperation amongst private partners.
Activities and outputs
The main activity provided by the platform is the ACI Cashew Matching Fund (following a PPP model) available for those in the Cashew supply chain to public research institutes to explore implementation strategies beneficial to them. The platform has also enabled activities in their four key areas:
- Production- where in its first phase the platform provided improved cashew planting material development, as well as training programs on all aspects of the value chain in its second phase;
- Processing- where technical assistance was provided in the first phase, with linkages to financial institutions, whereas in the second phase platform partners provided advice on areas such as technology management to food safety to business services;
- Supply Chain Linkages where Farmer Based Otganisation (FBO) were supported in creating organisational and management capacities;
- Cashew Sector Organisation- where the creation of business associations, stakeholder platforms and extensions services have been created in the first phase.
Monitoring and evaluation