The actors at various levels of the Cajou sector met in Cotonou on Friday January 24, 2020 as part of the Benin Cashew Day. Organized by the National Council of Cashew Exporters of Benin (CoNEC-Benin) with the support of TechnoServe through the BeninCajù project, this day constitutes a framework for consultation and exchanges around the cashew sector of Benin.
Over the past three years, the cashew sector in Benin has been marked on the one hand by an evolutionary dynamic, and on the other by poor performances and not very encouraging results. In order to take new resolutions in the fields of organization, production, processing and marketing, CoNEC-Benin initiated the Benin cashew day called Benin Cashew Day.
This first edition was organized in collaboration with the National Federation of Buyers of Agricultural and Tropical Products of Benin (FENAPAT-Benin), the Interprofession of the Cashew Sector of Benin (IFA-B) and other partners.
The main objective of this unprecedented event is to reflect on a model for continuous improvement of the cashew marketing system in Benin and to raise awareness among stakeholders on the general provisions required to ensure the smooth running of the cashew marketing campaign. 2020.
TechnoServe CEO James Obarowski finds that the stakes are high and that the improvement of the various links in the sector requires convincing commitment from the players. For his part, he points out that through 10 programs, TechnoServe has succeeded in raising revenues? from one billion FCFA in 2015 to 15 billion FCFA in 2019.
He also announced that two other support programs are in prospect for 2020. Several challenges are imposed on the cashew sector, among which is that of the mechanism for positioning cashew resources (raw nuts, almonds and cashew apples) in specific markets.
Prospects for marketing cashew in Benin
The marketing of raw cashew nuts in Benin constitutes an important network in which several actors, identified or not, have a remarkable influence on the progress of the cashew marketing campaign.
This is why the exchanges of this 1 st edition of Benin Cashew Day was held around the theme: "Improving the cashew marketing system in Benin: inventory, Challenges and Prospects" . It is therefore an annual meeting, a crucible of exchanges and proximity of actors from the Public and private sector to reflect and decide on the process of continuous improvement of the cashew marketing system in Benin.
The forum was held in the presence of two members of the government. For the Minister of Agriculture, Gaston Dossouhoui, this initiative is very timely because the government's ambitions are great, whether for production, processing or marketing.
"The State will continue to support the policy of supporting the cashew sector" , he reassured before adding that it will be necessary to locate the responsibilities. His counterpart of Industry and Commerce, Alimatou Asouman, confirmed that the government has taken serious and rigorous actions for the full development of the sector.
For the time being, “we have to adjust the new challenges, the problems with the current situation. Another foundation will come at the end of your discussions and will serve to concretize the proposals ” she suggested. The Government Action Program (PAG) has planned several actions to make the cashew sector in Benin more efficient. The implementation of sectoral programs has already, for the past three years, stimulated a new dynamic in the production and transformation links.
But for Georgette Taraf, Secretary General of CoNEC-Benin, the cashew processing sector is on hold and the lack of adequate funding is one of the bottlenecks. "The costs of transformation do not allow us to survive and grow," she concluded. However, the organization of cashew marketing remains a challenge that must be met in order to allow not only the actors to operate in good conditions but also and above all the State to make secure and sustainable investments to better performance in this sector.
Remember that at the end of this day, several information and strategies for improving the marketing system were disseminated to direct and indirect actors in the cashew sector; the general provisions that it would be advisable to put in place for the 2020 marketing campaign have been communicated to the players in the cashew marketing chain in Benin; a synthesis of the strategy elements was made in order to facilitate a commitment of all the families of actors for the success of the cashew marketing campaigns; an exhibition and a cashew tasting session were organized.