Cashew sales in Cote d’Ivoire has gone down about 40 percent this year due to rampant smuggling of nuts.
So far, just 40 percent of cashew nuts stock the in West African nation has been sold for the ongoing season, against 80-90 percent for the same period last year.
According to Bamba Adama, Head of Cashew Growers’ Federation, higher farm gate price of cashew in other countries like Ghana and Burkina Faso, prompts Ivorian producers to smuggle the nuts into these countries leading to the poor performance recorded in Côte d’Ivoire during the period under review.
For instance, according to Agence Ivoirienne de Presse, while the price is CFA500 per kg in Côte d’Ivoire, it is CFA900 in Burkina Faso and CFA1, 000 in Guinea-Bissau, which means that producers are better of selling their nuts in these countries.
Cote D’Ivoire, Africa’s leading producers of the cash crop, expects to produce 750, 000 tons of the raw cashew nuts in 2018 against 711, 236 tons in 2017.
The sector currently employs about 1.5 million Ivoirians.