Trend analysis of production, consumption and export of cashew crop in West Africa

  • N.P. Kolliesuah
  • J.L. Saysay
  • M.M. Zinnah
  • A.T. Freeman
  • D. Chinenye
Keywords: Anacardium occidentale, Cashew, food security, West Africa


West Africa is a core producer of Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.), supplying 45% of the commodity on the global market. Despite this huge share of the international market, only 10% of the commodity is processed and consumed domestically. The low rate of consumption is reflected by low investment in the cashew industry, making the crop underutilised as a food and nutrition security crop in the region. The objective of this study was to analyse the trends in production, levels of consumption and export of the crop in West Africa, as a basis for informing strategic development interventions. This work utilised metadata from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation database, Nitidae and other relevant sources to explore the production, consumption and export patterns of cashew from the year 2000 up to 2017. The metadata used were analysed using descriptive statistics. The study revealed that eleven (Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Guinea, The Gambia, Senegal, and Togo) of the sixteen countries in West Africa were actively engaged in cashew production. It was also projected that production will decline in the next five years in countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, and Burkina Faso due to a reduction in the land under cashew cultivation, an increase in pest and disease infestations, coupled with a decline in genetic improvement and poor extension services. Production will remain stable in The Gambia and Guinea Bissau because most trees there are yet to hit the peak of production; and of reduced investment in research and development. Cashew consumption locally is dismal (<10% across the region) due to limited attention given to the processing industry in the region. To boost local production and consumption, as well maintain the 45% share of the international market in the next five years and beyond, it is essential to invest in genetic improvement, modification of agronomic practices, and investment in the processing industry, as well as research and development of the crop.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730