The agreement governing access to a fund to finance projects for processing cashew nuts was signed Tuesday by the Government of Guinea-Bissau and the Guinean Foundation for Enterprise and Industrial Development (Fundei).
The fund, with an initial allocation of 1.5 million euros, is intended to stop cashew nuts, which are the country’s main agricultural product, being exported raw to India and to add value to the product by processing it in Guinea-Bissau.
The initial funding will come from the Fund for the Promotion of Small and Medium Manufacturing Industry (Funpi), a tax levied by the Chamber of Commerce on raw cashew nut transactions, but which will be appropriated by the government, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.
The Executive Director of Fundei, Caliph Seidi, said the money would be used primarily to finance private cashew processors, particularly for training and buying equipment, as well as the cashews themselves.
Under the terms of the agreement, applicable interest rates will be in the 3 to 4 percent range, “far from the interest rates of commercial banks that range between 17 and 18 percent,” and the loan has an amortisation period of 12 months. (macauhub/GW)