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Brazil state poised for major cashew expansion

This article was originally published in The Public Ledger

Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia has announced plans to increase cashew nut production to more than 7,000 tonnes over the next five years, up 43% from the current 5,000 tonnes.

During this period, the cashew nut sector in Bahia is expected to generate 2,000 new jobs as cultivation of the crop expands. Bahia is in currently the fourth largest producer of cashew nuts in the country, trailing behind the neighbouring northeastern states of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte and Piauí.

These targets were announced as part of Bahia’s new state plan for development of cashew nut production 2014-19, which was unveiled by the state government in Ribeira do Pombal during a seminar on the strengthening of cashew nut production that ended last week. Rede Cooperacaju, a leading cashew nut growers’ co-operative in northeastern Bahia, organised the seminar.

The plan also calls for the installation of a nursery with a capacity of producing 300,000 seedlings of cashew tree clones per year, which will promote sustainable growth of the cashew nut processing industry.

Rede Cooperacaju processes raw cashew nuts with the help of seven mini-processing plants (situated in Banzaê, Cícero Dantas, Lamarão, Olindina, Ribeira do Amparo, Novo Triunfo and Tucano) that were built with financing aid from Banco do Brasil Foundation (FBB) and the federal economic development bank BNDES. The seven units attend the needs of around 750 cashew growers located in 21 municipalities.  

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