August Topic of the Month: The cashew growers from Taga

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Production

The cashew growers are making the most of the skyrocketing cashew prices that have come about as a result of demand from Asia, and are selling to the highest bidders — in spite of their contracts with gebana. What do the farmers themselves say about this?

Cashew-Bauern

The farmers in Taga, a village in south-west Burkina Faso, grow a wide variety of subsistence food crops, including maize, sorghum, millet, sweet potatoes and peanuts. Their income comes from the sale of raw cashew nuts,

which they sell to gebana Afrique. Contracts are agreed on an annual basis, and gebana organises organic certification for the farmers. “Sometimes, if someone needs cash urgently, they go to the market and sell small quantities to merchants”, explains Bakary Coulibaly. When the market prices for cashew nuts were especially high this February, suddenly the quantities became bigger: “Because the prices in the market went up considerably, we decided to sell the majority of our nuts there instead of to gebana”, says Lamino Bruno Coulibaly, President of the Taga Farmers Group.

On the one hand, the farmers from Taga are pleased because they have earned more money, but it seems as though they are not completely at ease with the situation: “We absolutely want to continue our cooperation with gebana”, asserts Lamino Bruno Coulibaly, and continues apologetically: “Unfortunately, the market didn’t play along this year”.