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  • Zambia looks to cashew nut production

    Mar 31st, 2016

    AS COPPER prices on the international market continue to fluctuate, Government says invigorating cashew nut production in Western Province will bolster Zambia’s export earnings currently under pressure.

    Government has signed a US$45 million financing agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to revive the sector under a programme dubbed ‘Cashew infrastructure development project.’

    Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda said with the price of cashew nuts trading twice the price of copper on the international market, large-scale production of the crop will enable Zambia mitigate the impact of low copper prices on the economy.

    The price of cashew nuts on the global market is hovering aroundUS$8,000 per ton while copper prices are below US$5,000.

    “Metal experts say metal prices will continue to fall and may fall below US$4,000 per ton. Cashew nut production can, therefore, make a difference in the economy,” he said.

    On the AfDB-funded cashew nut infrastructure development project, Mr Chikwanda explained that the project to be rolled out in Mongu, Limulunga, Senanga, Sioma, Lukulu, Sikongo, Mitete, Shangombo and Kalabo will improve household incomes and contribute to Zambia’s economic growth.

    “The objective is to contribute to poverty reduction, improve household incomes through improved cashew production and processing. The districts have been selected based on their high potential for cashew production,” he said.

    The districts have also been selected based on less frost problems, vulnerability to environmental degradation and climate change and high cases of food insecurity.

    Mr Chikwanda said the project will be implemented by the ministries of Agriculture and Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO).

    He said ZAFFICO has been incorporated because it has a successful track record and will successfully implement the project that will contribute to the economic transformation of Zambia.