16th ACA Annual Cashew Conference: Nigeria 2022



The ACA’s Annual Cashew Conference, from its humble beginning 16 years ago has become the flagship event of the cashew industry in Africa and beyond. For sixteen (16) consecutive years, the ACA conference has served as a unique opportunity for African and international stakeholders of the cashew industry to converge and discuss industry challenges and opportunities, find solutions, build, and renew partnerships towards building a sustainable cashew industry in the Continent and beyond.

The 16th ACA Annual Cashew Conference & Expo was successfully held at the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Nigeria from 12th – 15th September 2022 under the theme, Strengthening sustainable kernel and by-product marketing in the African cashew industry. This Conference goes down as historic for two reasons. Firstly, the ACA Conference returned to a physical location for the first time after two successful online conferences in 2020 and 2021 following the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic and the subsequent devastating impacts and travel restrictions. Secondly, Nigeria has for the first time hosted the ACA Annual Cashew Conference, after fifteen editions, a move that is expected to harmonize the country’s cashew sector and position it for sustainable growth in the coming years. The previous 15 editions have been hosted by eight different countries, with Mozambique hosting it thrice, Tanzania, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana each hosting twice while Kenya, the Gambia, and Guinea Bissau have each hosted once. Having successfully hosted the 16th edition, Nigeria becomes the 9th country to host the prestigious ACA Conference.

The 2022 ACA Conference highlighted the vital role of marketing in building a sustainable African cashew industry. There were a series of presentations, thematic forum discussions, workshops and information sessions featuring seasoned cashew experts, analysts, industry players and development partners that sensitized participants on kernel and by-product marketing and other important related industry issues, including high production yields, kernel and by-product processing and policy.

The Conference started with an official opening ceremony on the 12th of September 2022 and was graced by national and international dignitaries, including the Nigerian Federal Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, His Excellency Otunba Adeniye Adebayo (CON) who was the Guest Speaker, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, H.E. Mohammed Mahood Abubakar, the Deputy Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. V.S.D.L. Surendra and representatives from the United States, and German Embassies in Nigeria. In his speech, the Guest Speaker, recognizing the significant growth of cashew production in Nigeria and other African countries, highlighted the need to increase local processing of the commodity for the Continent to reap its full benefits, especially in job creation and poverty reduction. He pledged the Nigerian government’s commitment to working closely with the development partners and other stakeholders to ensure sustainable growth of the cashew industry in Nigeria and Africa at large. After the Opening ceremony, the dignitaries were led by the ACA President and Managing Director to an official tour and opening of the 2022 ACA Conference Expo which featured 27 booths.  The day ended with a welcome cocktail. 

Day two of the Conference was educative and insightful. There were three (3) plenary sessions: the inaugural plenary on the Conference theme, a second plenary session on enabling policy strategic actions for efficient marketing of African cashew kernels & by-products and a third on kernels and by-products processing for a sustainable industry in Africa.

The Inaugural Plenary session was moderated by seasoned cashew expert, Herman uit de Bosch, from FairMatch Support, with a scene-setter presentation by another expert, Jim Fitzpatrick. Panellists of the Inaugural session included:

  • Nico Broerse, Sustainable Nuts Initiatives, The Netherlands 
  • Salma Seetaroo, Cashew Coast, Cote d’Ivoire
  • Issa Konate, Olam Food Ingredients, Cote d’Ivoire 
  • Goncalo Correia, Condor nuts, Mozambique and
  • Kamaldeen Raji, AFEX, Nigeria.

Major highlights of the session included:

  • African processing is becoming competitive, taking all costs into consideration.
  • Sustainability and traceability have become major issues in the European markets as countries and the EU putting legal measures in place to ensure them. This is creating opportunities for Africa whose factories are newer with fewer social issues and produce more traceable and organic and directly sourced products.
  • Cashew by-product development remains largely untapped potential of the cashew industry. With the right measures in place, including processing and proper marketing, cashew by-product development can increase revenue generation and job creation in Africa.

Underscoring the need for the right policy environment in building a sustainable cashew industry, the second plenary session focused on enabling policy and strategic actions for the efficient marketing of African cashew kernels and by-products. This session was moderated by Jim Fitzpatrick and comprised of African cashew industry policymakers and development partners. They were:

  • Rita Weidinger, GIZ/MOVE (ComCashew), Ghana
  • Alfred Francis, Cashewnuts Board of Tanzania, Tanzania
  • Herman Abihona, Interprofession de la Filiere Anacarde du Benin
  • William Quaittoo, Tree Crops Development Authority, Ghana
  • Dr Adama Coulibaly, Conseil du Cotton et de l’Anacarde, Cote d’ Ivoire
  • Evelyn Obidike, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Nigeria
  • Adre Tandjekpon, Consultative International Cashew Council, Benin and
  • Debajyoti Bhattacharyya, AFEX, Nigeria.

Major highlights of this session included:

  • There is little commonality in policy between the countries
  • Ideas for market development especially branding and promotion are vague and lack a basis in research. Also, they allow preconceptions among buyers to be perpetuated

The third plenary session, on the topic of kernels, and by-products processing for a sustainable industry in Africa was moderated by Valentin Atchaoué from USDA Prosper Cashew. This plenary session featured experienced local kernel and by-product processors from four African countries: Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Benin, and Ghana who discussed the challenges facing sustainable local processing and what interventions are needed in this regard. The panellists were:

  • Aziz Sanogo, Foods' Co S.A., Cote d’Ivoire
  • Ed Malvin Nii Smith, Winker Cashew, Ghana
  • Alex Chulin, SG Agro, Cote d’Ivoire
  • Jasveer Singh, GDIZ I ARISE, Benin
  • Massogbé Touré Diabaté, SITA S.A., Cote d’Ivoire

Major highlights of the session included

  • Africa is the future in terms of cashew.
  • Organic production, traceability and single origin can be game changers for the African Cashew industry  
  • By-products development is an area to develop for more revenue generation

Later that day, in what marked a historic and memorable moment, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, addressed delegates of the 16th ACA Cashew Conference & Expo.  Among other things, the charismatic and affable former President, also known for his love for agriculture and owning a large cashew plantation, highlighted the need for the formulation and implementation of favourable policies, both at national and continental levels to ensure the growth of the African cashew industry. He also highlighted the importance of increasing cashew production and even more importantly, increasing local processing of the commodity to create jobs and contribute to the economic development of the cashew-producing countries in Africa. He also implored stakeholders to have a 2030 Agenda by which production would have doubled, we would be able to process what we produce, double local consumption, and double the employment ratio. To ensure these objectives are achieved, he recommended establishing a committee: Cashew 2030 Committee. Also present was His Excellency Gabriel Mbairobe, President of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC) and Minister of Agriculture of Cameroon who also addressed the delegates and began his speech by stating how proud he was at the mere sight of the participants present. He further explained that with the post-covid period having such a significant impact on business, this conference is timely in addressing the importance of capitalization and market availability for the cashew sector, which is one of the primary sources of income for women and youth

Day two of the Conference ended with the Master Training Program (MTP) alumni meeting where graduates of the prestigious training met to renew friendships, share experiences and build new partnerships.

Day three of the Conference started with the CasheWomen breakfast meeting, where women interacted among themselves and shared experiences of the cashew industry over breakfast. This meeting was part of GIZ/MOVE (ComCashew) and ACA’s commitment to promote gender equity and seek the welfare of women, who are playing a crucial role in the growth and development of the African cashew industry.

There were simultaneous forum sessions on production and marketing respectively. The production sessions were moderated by seasoned cashew production researchers and experts: Professors Peter Masawe and Mauricette N’goran from BeninCaju and the University of Felix Houphouet-Biogny, respectively, Dr Paul Adu Gyimfi from Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), Seth Osei-Akoto from Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Joy Heitliger and Mohamed Salifu, both from GIZ/MOVE. They moderated other experts and researchers on recent cashew research findings and development covering the following areas: cashew genetics and breeding, cashew agronomy and cropping, cashew pests and diseases, climate adaptation and mitigation and socio-economic technology transfer and adoption.

In the marketing sessions, USDA Prosper Cashew's Regional Business Manager, Valentin Atchaoué moderated a group of experienced cashew industry players and marketers on the topic of marketing opportunities for cashew kernels and by-products. This session discussed the need and how local processors can properly market cashew by-products to increase their income by addressing key questions such as: What are the innovations in terms of Cashew By-Products? What is the trend in terms of demand for African cashew on the international market? What are the arguments in favour of African, single-origin cashew for better marketing? What is the strategy to increase other by-products processing (apple and shell) and market them locally and internationally? What is the feasibility of aggregation centers for low grades?  This session was followed by a live Global Market Encounter (GME) by Jim Fitzpatrick after which USDA Prosper Cashew’s Capital Investment Lead, Sarah El Ouadili moderated a group of bankers and financial experts on access to finance opportunities for local processors and other cashew value chain actors.

The day ended with a Development partner’s meeting, where various organizations and institutions like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its projects, GIZ/MOVE (ComCashew), CICC etc met to deliberate the best ways they can support the growth and sustainability of the African cashew industry.

There were four major activities on the final day of the 16th ACA Cashew Conference. The day began with the 2022 ACA Conference synthesis. The Managing Director of the ACA, Ernest Mintah, hosted some moderators of forum sessions of the Conference to summarize the 2022 Conference and draw major conclusions from the discussion in relation to the Conference theme. Major highlights included:

  • The future of the global cashew industry depends on processing closer to its origin, and Africa stands tall in this regard.
  • The marketing of cashew by-products needs to be enhanced to create more jobs and reduce poverty in Africa.
  • Africa is in the right direction in terms of research in cashew production. There is however the need to synchronise these different studies and bring them to life properly.  

The 2022 conference Synthesis was followed by the official closing ceremony of the 16th ACA Cashew Conference & Expo. The President of the ACA Board of Directors, Mr Babatola Faseru, expressed the Board’s gratitude to partners, sponsors, and the hundreds of physical and online participants of the Conference. The closing ceremony was followed by a gild trip to Vertex Agro Limited, a food processing factory situated in Suleja, in the Niger State of Nigeria. Participants had access to the cashew processing unit, where they were taken through the stages of cashew processing. They also had the opportunity to taste some products from Vertex Agro and interacted with the CEO and staff on the operation of the factory.

The final activity of the Conference was the ACA Gala Dinner held later in the evening of the fourth day. The MD and Board President of the ACA once again thanked partners and sponsors and officially announced Senegal as the host of the 17th ACA Annual Cashew Conference and Expo in September 2023. Present at the Gala dinner was His Excellency Otunba Adeniye Adebayo (CON) who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. (Mrs) Evelyn Ngige.

Sponsors and partners

The 16th ACA Cashew Conference & Expo was organized by the ACA in partnership with the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) and the Nigerian Federal Ministries of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI) and   Agriculture and Rural Development. It was sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its projects (Prosper Cashew, LIFFT Cashew, BeninCaju, PRO-Cashew), the GIZ/MOVE, GDIZ/Arise, AFEX, Le Conseil du Coton de l’Ánacarde,  Julius Berger, Meyer, Cashew Machines Vietnam (CMV), Mekong Tech Group, Tropical General Investments Group (TGI), the Valency Group, Nuts2, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Colossus, Coronation Bank, and Zenith Bank. Media partners were the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Commod Africa. the African Cashew Alliance is grateful to the sponsors, and partners and participants both in person and online for your unwavering support as the ACA Annual Cashew Conference resumes in a physical location. In all, there were 384 in-person and 38 online participants from 27 countries. we are looking forward to hosting you in Senegal next year!


We invite you to relive the moments we shared:

...Download the presentations.

...access the list of participants.

...meet the moderators and speakers.


Nigeria 2022 Photo Gallery