The Government of Burkina Faso in 1997 started a project with the aim of planting one million cashew trees to promote the agricultural sector. This resulted in a production increase since 2000-2001. Currently, area under cultivation is about 140,000 hectares with total production volumes standing at about 35 000 MT. Most of the cashew farmers are not yet represented at the national level but belong to village associations, groups, unions or cooperatives with different degrees of activities. About 45,000 households in Burkina Faso are involved in the cultivation of cashew nuts. 97% are located in the Cascades, Sud-Ouest, Hauts-Bassins and Centre-Ouest regions. Agrofood businesses in the past years, have established large cashew plantations (of up to 300 hectares) with most of them being in the Ziro and Sissili provinces. The raw cashew nuts are mostly exported to India and Vietnam. In 2014, the total volume of RCN exported was 26, 667 MT.

Burkina Faso’s total installed processing capacity stood at 10,500MT in 2014, with total capacity utilization of 83%. Women play an important role in processing, either as small-scale processors or as workers in the processing units.

What did the African Cashew initiative (ACi)
achieve in its first phase? An excerpt

ACi implemented training sessions for more than 33,000 farmers, 24% of which are women, in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) such as harvest and post-harvesting handlings and the establishment of new cashew plantations with improved seedlings. In order to achieve a sustainable dissemination of knowledge, a total number of 443 “paysans rélais” have been trained as trainers between 2009 and 2012, 8% of which are women.

ACi has identified 55 superior mother trees and established five mother plantations for improved planting material and the production of scions. The initiative implemented special training sessions for 414 farmers, 9% of which are women, on quality checks of raw cashew nuts (KOR – Kernel Outturn Ratio), production of grafted seedlings and beekeeping as a strategy of income diversification. In Burkina Faso, ACi has helped over 11,000 farmers to receive a certification on Fair Trade standards.

With regard to the development of a strong processing industry, ACi fostered the expansion of the processing capacities from 1,000 MT in 2009 to 8,500 MT in 2012. Thus, ACi has supported the creation of nearly 2,000 jobs, 70% of which are for women.

What ACi is focussing on in its second phase?

13 Master Trainers with integrated expertise about the cashew sector graduated from the first edition of the Master Training Programme. They are expected to pass on skills and knowledge acquired for an improved and competitive sector. Currently there are 10 participants taking part in the second edition of the programme.

The initiative is developing and producing improved planting materials in cooperation with national research institutes. With support from ACi’s Matching Fund, the Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF) and the Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) contribute to the development of improved grafted seedlings for farmers.

The initiative is also focusing on organizing farmer groups and linking them directly to cashew processors and traders. After the creation of the L’Union Nationale des Producteurs d’Anacardes du Burkina Faso (UNPA/BF) in 2013, ACi has been supporting them with technical advice and organizational support including the preparation of their strategic plan.  One of the pilot projects in ACi’s phase one, communication with all partners through radio programmes will be intensified during the second phase and beyond.




Initiative du Cajou Africain
Rue Jacqueline Ki-Zerbo
01 P 1485 Ouagadougou 01
Burkina Faso

Youssofou Sore






Country Report | March 2013



Country Study  | February 2010 (PDF, 5 MB)