United States provides aid of US$15 million for cashew production in Mozambique

23 September 2013

The United States government plans to donate US$15 million to Mozambique to support cashew production via the “Food for progress” programme of the Department for Agriculture, said the US embassy in Mozambique.

In a statement, the embassy said that the aid was intended to boost productivity of the cashew sector, as well as to expand its sale and improve the product’s access to the market.

The announcement was made at the end of a visit to agricultural projects in Nampula, in northern Mozambique, byb a team headed up by the Assistant secretary of state for the United States Agricultural Department, Krysta Harden.

According to the statement, the funding will also benefit producers and small and medium-sized companies that process cashew nuts, which is one of Mozambique’s most important product, which it exports to the European Union, the United States and the Middle East.

In 1974, Mozambique was the world’s largest cashew nut producer, producing 42.7 percent of the world’s cashews and, after independence, in 1975, the government adopted protectionist measures, which prevented unprocessed cashews from being exported.

Problems with financing the economy and inefficient production processes led to a downturn in the sector and teh industry in the 1980s, which led to its total disappearance, with factories closing and thousands of people made unemployed.

In June of this year, the president of the National Cashew Institute (Incaju), Filomena Maiopué, estimated that cashew production in Mozambique this year would total 110,000 tons, recovering from poor performance in 2012, in which the country produced just 64,000 tons of cashews. (macauhub)