Market exists for cashew fruit exports, Says specialists

By Sailu Bah
Specialists have disclosed that a lucrative market exists for cashewCashew fruit transformed into cake
fruit exports to the US and Europe if the Gambian producers and
processors seize the opportunity.Two specialists who work on the cashew fruit are urging Gambians to
embrace the production and processing of cashew fruits for the purpose
of generating income as well as addressing food security.

Ba Morrow Saidy and Dr. Bilal Robinson, both cashew specialists who
co-founded the Tringfili Agro-Forestry community based organization in
Dasilami Jokadu in the North Bank Region, said this in an interview at
the Foroyaa office on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.

Mr. Saidy said the cashew fruit can be transformed and prepared into
more than 25 foods, including flour, cakes, candy, vinegar, chocolate,
honey, soap, liquor, and a lot more products which can be produced and
sold to earn income.

He said the cashew fruit can earn the Gambia millions of Dalasi
if properly exploited.

He also noted that in the Gambia thousands of tons of cashew and mango
fruits get spoiled every year and which, he added, could have been
avoided by making good use of the products as food and means of
earning good income.

“At present, Gambians only focus on the cashew nut to earn money, but
they could be earning more from the cashew fruit which provides both
money and food for the producers. This can help in the fighting
hunger, poverty and unemployment,” said the cashew specialist.

Mr. Barrow said one of the constraints preventing the realization of
these potentials is funding to undertake cashew production projects.
He therefore appealed to organizations and businesses to come forward
and invest or form partnerships with communities to engage in ventures
aimed at making the best use of the cashew fruit.

He revealed that they have been knocking on different doors such as
agencies and government to help support initiatives on the cashew
fruit.

Dr. Bilal Robinson, another cashew specialist, revealed that they will
soon be receiving 40 British nationals who are coming for training on
cashew fruit processing. He said the British group will be coming in
two different trips, the first of which is expected on the 13th
February while the second group arrives on 23rd February 2015.

“Gambians are not coming forward to make best use of the opportunity
being offered to get training on cashew fruit processing while others
from other countries are really coming to learn from us,” said Dr.
Robinson.

He said the training will be conducted on their cashew field in
Darsilami and processing plant in Kotu and will be focusing on how to
produce and process the fruits into other food products.

The cashew specialist further said that this is an opportunity for
cashew fruit growers, processors, exporters, family cashew farmers and
the other stakeholders in the food chain to improve their knowledge
and enhance their skills.

He concluded that one of their major constraints is funds to implement
a plan to establish a factory which requires nothing less than 245,
000 US dollars and a land area of 66, 000 sq.ft. He added that when
completed the factory can employ up to 450 people.