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  • Nigeria gets ACA’s support on cashew waste recycling

    Aug 19th, 2015

    The African Cashew Alliance has reiterated its commitment to helping Nigeria implement changes needed to reduce poverty through creation of jobs in cashew waste recycling.

    Presenting the USAID-funded Trade Hub Project commissioned study on environmental management of cashew processing industry, ACA SEAL Coordinator, Dorcas D. Amoh said Nigeria and other West African countries are denying themselves the opportunities of providing more jobs and generating additional revenue by not deploying technologies to transform waste to products that will speed up industrial development.According to study, Amoh said there were very positive results within the Cashew Value Chain in West Africa in recent years, including expansions in production of raw cashew nut, a growth in installed processing capacity, and increased trade, but noted that the processing industry generates a significant waste stream with 50 to 75 per cent of cashew nut shells left over after processing.

    Waste from cashew nut shells, she noted mounts up quickly and most processing plants have found it difficult to dispose of it properly, with growing mounds of waste dumps on-site. The presence of caustic CNSL (cashew nut shell liquid) in the waste, she referred to the study slowed natural decomposition and can lead to local site contamination and toxic run-off into nearby surface waters.The dark and oily waste stream,she noted, has given the cashew industry a slight black eye and prompted growing concern about the environmental implications of cashew processing. Accordingly, and in line with its project-wise Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan (EMMP),she said the USAID-funded Trade Hub Project commissioned the study of the environmental management of the cashew processing industry to address issues of adverse environmental impacts .The intention,according to her, is to seek solutions and improve the marketability of African cashew in an increasingly globalised market demanding sustainable production. Doing so,she added would help to expand West Africa’s comparative advantage in cashew production and processing.To her, the cashew processing presents an opportunity to diversify income sources from the subsector.