ACA Participates in the 5th World Cashew Convention in Abu Dhabi, UAE

From the 24 – 26 January 2019, ACA Managing Director, Ernest Mintah, and Communications Manager, Caroline Moraza participated in the 5th World Cashew Convention (WCC) in Abu Dhabi, UAE . The convention welcomed about 300 – 350 international participants. Most participants came from India, UAE, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, while many other countries were represented but in smaller numbers. About 30% of all visitors came from India itself, while about another 30% came from the West African region. Aside ACA which represents the private sector, other key sectorial leaders in the African cashew value chain were present, including the Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Japhet Ngailonga Hasunga, the Deputy Managing Director for Conseil du Coton et de l’Anacarde (CCA), Mr. Mamadou Berte , the Executive Director of the Competitive Cashew Initiative, Ms. Rita Weidinger among many others.

An interesting highlight centered around the recent developments on the Tanzanian cashew market, where the entire crop 2018/2019 crop was seized by the government in exchange for an above market price promised to farmers.  

The convention concentrated on forum sessions throughout the three days with each day closed by a panel discussion. Furthermore, an on-going exhibition space was open during the event. The key topics handled in the forum sessions and panel discussions were:

  • Closing the gap between shipped and landed quality of RCN & reducing speculation in cashew trade
  • Innovations in cashew processing
  • Role of woman in cashew sector
  • Next generation of cashew leaders
  • Cashew market outlook in US, European and emerging markets
  • 2019 global raw cashew crop review and outlook
  • Navigating the African public sector and the international private sector interests in the volatile cashew market
  • Necessity of a global body to govern RCN trade: Streamlining process, standardizing procedures and resolving disputes

Within the framework of the forum sessions, ACA’s MD, Ernest Mintah presented and acted as a panelist in the Saturday morning session titled: “Walking the tightrope – balancing government policy and market players’ interest in volatile cashew markets”. He was joined in this session by Rita Weidinger of ComCashew as the moderator and the additional panelists were ACA Board Member Tola Faseru representing the National Cashew Association of Nigeria, William Ezeagu of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Ilídio Afonso José Bande of the Promotion Institute of Cashew in Mozambique and Mamadou Berte of CCA Ivory Coast.

Ernest Mintah opened the session with a presentation giving overview of current policies across the African continent, which affect the cashew sector. Going into more detail, he highlighted the observations and challenges that arise from different policy strategies. Most importantly, he emphasized how the cashew sector must “walk the tightrope” to balance both public and private interests in cashew. Here the recommendations were the need for policy impact studies, a quick implementation of the CICC, an emphasis on the importance of market intelligence data, the improvement of quality control and traceability, a limit to the amount of policy instruments exercised, and finally responsible behavior of both the market and the government - after all the cashew stakeholder are all “on the rope together”.

Caroline Moraza took over the representation of ACA at the WCC exhibition. ACA had a booth where the services of ACA were showcased and the upcoming 13th ACA Annual Conference in Tanzania was advertised. More than 60 personal contact exchanges were made throughout the convention and all have been added to the ACA database. Most booth visitor questions concerned receiving cashew business contacts on the continent, accessing quality cashew market information, receiving quality certification for processing factories, and of course participation in the upcoming conference in Tanzania.

Overall the visit to Abu Dhabi was very valuable as it certainly increased ACA’s visibility as the voice of the African cashew sector on the international cashew market.


Click here to view photos from the event