Cote d'Ivoire is the world's number one cashew producer
notwithstanding a drop in 2016 production due to poor weather. Now
however, local cashew nut producers are unhappy over the government
set producer price of USD0.71/kg1 as against the sought
after USD0.96kg – leading to substantial smuggling
across the border.
This is a long-term issue for the country. In 2016, an estimated
100,000 tons of cashew nut were smuggled to neighbouring countries
including Ghana for example, where the the buying price was
US$1.53/kg as opposed to US$0.56/kg2 in Cote
In 2016, targeted production was
725,000 tons but only 649,587 was achieved3. Still
roughly 25% of global production. The country aims to produce 1
million tons within three years and the industry directly and
indirectly employs 1.5 million people in the
The calls for a halt to smuggling
came from the secretary of the Fédération nationale
des acheteurs d'anacarde et de coopératives de cajou de
Côte d'Ivoire (FENACACI), Abdoulaye Sanogo. He said that
the activity "weakens the sector because the state is unable
to collect its DUS [taxes] which leads to unfair
Despite continued threats from
smuggling and black market dealings, outlook for the cashew
industry in Cote d'Ivoire is very strong. Good weather at the
end of 2016 means that the target for 2017 is a record one, which
if achieved, would further cement the country's top producer
Refined products normally account for less than 10% of all
Ivorian cashew exports. Government has realised the potential in
this market and has implemented a range of bonus payments for those
selling refined products. There are plans to scale up installed
refining capacity from 90,000 tons to 214,500 tons by the end of
Meanwhile, the discontent of cashew nut producers should be
viewed as part of a larger problem of dissatisfaction among
low-level agricultural producers and bottom of the pyramid
Ivorians. Their situation is made more difficult by the volatility
of external demand.
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