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Cashew nut and sesame production and marketing

Farm Africa / Kevin Ouma Farm Africa / Kevin Ouma

The problem

A decline in tourism due to insecurity, and falling agricultural yields caused by extreme weather, have weakened the economy in Kenya’s coastal region, pushing more people into poverty. These changes are hitting young people hard; the country has the highest level of youth unemployment in eastern Africa.

Coastal Kenya has a higher concentration of cashew nut trees than anywhere else in the country, and almost 70,000 smallholder farmers along the coastline produce cashew nuts. However, ageing trees and a lack of investment have seen cashew production in the area decrease, weakening an already fragile economy.

What are we doing?

Farm Africa is working with Ten Senses Africa to breathe new life into Kenya’s cashew industry. The project will help smallholders living in Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu counties in coastal Kenya establish or develop profitable cashew and sesame businesses. The project will: 

  • Deliver training in agricultural best practice to 15,000 farmers so that they can become certified organic cashew and sesame farmers, and command higher prices.
  • Establish two cashew seedling nurseries to revitalise ageing stock.
  • Train farmers to plant sesame crops between the cashew trees to optimise land use and diversify income streams.
  • Help farmers gain access to the funds they need to grow their business by connecting them to financial institutions and setting up saving groups.
  • Help 1,000 young adults create their own jobs running agribusinesses providing cashew nut farmers with commercial services, such as tree surgery and access to fertilisers.

 

Who are we working with?

Farm Africa is working in partnership with Ten Senses Africa, an agricultural company dedicated to organic, fair trade and ethical business practices.

The project is funded by the European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (SlovakAID) is managing the project’s funds on behalf of the European Union.