It is Thursday, April 13th. Stakeholders engaged in the cashew value chain are invited for a consultative meeting. The National Planning Authority intends to identify gaps, emerging issues, challenges, and opportunities along the cashew nut value chain. Key findings will inform the National Development Plan IV.
How to increase cashew nut production and the quality of raw materials is the primary challenge and a precursor for promoting and strengthening the Ugandan cashew value chain. Currently, there is limited access to an improved variety of planting materials. Plantation/orchard owners import planting materials from Naliendele, Tanzania. Pests and diseases such as power mildew, anthracnose, and dieback require immediate intervention from the Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The next challenge is the processing of cashew by-products. There is a need for a Private-Public Partnership to finance the establishment of the cashew processing facility to support smallholders who are producing raw cashew nuts. In the next two to three years, the country will require a huge processing facility.
The challenge is the access to the market for smallholder producers. There is a need to establish and expand links to the national, regional, and global cashew markets. The Buy Uganda. Build Uganda is a great initiative of the Ministry of Trade. More collaboration and engagement with the Uganda National Standards Bureau and the Private sector need to take center stage.
The next challenge is the lack of favorable policies that favor the cashew sector. The Private sector players need to advocate and civil society needs to advocate for favorable policies and enabling environment for cashew production and processing in Uganda.
SEE Impact is working directly with smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda to ensure that there is an increase in the production of quality raw cashew nuts. Our Farm Manager, Johnson Oroma provided first-hand experience with the challenges and opportunities facing the market players in Uganda.