Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, 19 Feb – Guinea-Bissau sold some 96,117 tons of cashew nuts to overseas buyers last year, according to a report released on Friday by the Guinean Trade Ministry.
The report said cashew exports increased by 2,791 tons in 2007, or 3 percent, compared to the forecast growth of 10 percent. This was due to lower than expected cashew production.
The official report “recognizes the failure of the cashew campaign with the reduction of cashew prices to 50 CFA Francs per kilo while the correct price was the 200 CFA Francs per kilo set at the launch of the campaign last April.”
Guinea’s trade ministry called for new techniques of cashew drying, packaging and storage to be introduced for the next growing season to boost production of the cash crop. It also said the government should establish fair prices at the opening of the cashew campaign.
Most of Guinea’s cashew crop, more than 100,000 tons, is exported to India. More than 250,000 Guinean families are dependent on cashew farming and 98 percent of Bissau Treasury revenues come from production and export tariffs.
Guinea is the world’s biggest exporter of unprocessed cashew, the biggest African producer of the nut and the world’s fifth largest.
Cashew plantations are spread over 175,000 hectares in Guinea and these areas are growing by 4 percent yearly. (macauhub)