Five Ivorian cashew processing companies have asked the government to extend subsidies given last year, claiming that they are required to prevent bankruptcy in 2023.
With an annual production of over 1 million tonnes, Ivory Coast is the world’s leading cashew producer.
Only a small portion of that is processed locally, as Ivorian processors have found it difficult to compete with Asian corporations who pay higher prices for raw nuts.
“We have written to the Cashew-Cotton Council so that the aid and subsidies that the government granted us in 2022 are maintained this season, otherwise we will not be able to continue our activities,” said Constance Kouame, secretary-general of the group of Ivorian processors.
The subsidies total approximately 9 billion CFA francs ($15 million) per year, with access to borrowing through the National Investment Bank.
Cashew season begins in February and because of restricted purchasing power, the five local processing companies are functioning below capacity. According to Kouame, they purchased approximately 33,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2022 and intend to boost that to 40,000 or 50,000 tonnes in 2023 if the aid is renewed.
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