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  • Transfer of cashew processing technology urged to be stopped

    Apr 12th, 2016

    In a memo sent to the ministries of industry and trade, finance, agricultural, interior affairs, and science and technology and the Việt Nam Cashew Association (Vinacas), a group of domestic cashew processors have called for stopping the transfer of the country’s outstanding cashew processing technology and equipment to African nations.

    They also urged Vinacas and other organisations and individuals to stop technology transfer to African countries that produce unprocessed cashew.

    Their rationale is that that if they get the technologies, African countries will reduce sale unprocessed cashew to Việt Nam. The Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Guinea Bissau, and Mozambique are implementing a policy of protecting domestic production and limiting exports.

    The recent reduction in exports of unprocessed cashew has resulted in a shortage that is causing huge damage to Vietnamese processors since raw cashew grown in Việt Nam can only meet half their need.

    Thousands of jobs are under threat, they warned.

    Since 2006 Việt Nam has always been the world’s top exporter of processed cashew though also the biggest importer of unprocessed cashew.

    Vietnamese cashew firms say the secret lies in a processing technology developed in 1984 by a group of agricultural engineers in HCM City that helps minimise losses. Over the last 20 years the technology has been constantly improved, helping the country export around US$2 billion worth of nuts annually.

    The technology has also captured the attention of many nations with a traditional cashew industry like India and Brazil besides the African nations. Since 2006 many delegations from India, Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, and the Ivory Coast have come to Việt Nam to study the technology.

    The export of the technology was once considered in 1999, but it did not materialise in the face of fierce opposition from the public and cashew industry. Việt Nam imported 867,000 tons of unprocessed cashew from 25 countries, mainly in Africa, of which 302,000 tons coming from Ivory Coast.

    If they acquire the technology from Việt Nam, not only are the African countries likely to stop exports of raw cashew, but they are also sure to become major rivals in exporting processed cashew.