Sustainable development of the cashew value chain in Mozambique

Cashew production is one of the main sources of income for rural households in Mozambique and is especially relevant in the Zambezia province. As one of the only cash crops with market demand guaranteed by an established network of traders and local processor, cashew production is the economic backbone of thousands of communities in central and northern areas of the country. These regions offer limited access to alternative sources of income and its forests are under pressure due to the demand for small-scale slash-and-burn agriculture and land for crops, timber, and charcoal. Planted mainly in agroforestry systems, with intercropping, cashew trees can substantially reduce GHG emissions through carbon sequestration while providing income to farmers.

The World Bank’s Agricultural Global Practice, supported by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility – FCPF, work with the cashew sector in Mozambique to identify the best entry points and develop a roadmap for investors in the different levels of the cashew value chain targeting forest friendly/low carbon opportunities in the Zambezia province.

A study about the perspectives for a sustainable development of the cashew value chain in Mozambique

This study sought to explore ways to promote the sustainable development of the cashew sector in Mozambique through investments that can leverage climate-smart techniques and competitiveness. The sector can be an ally for the Emissions Reduction Payment Program (ER Program) being implemented by the Government of Mozambique in the Zambezia region.

Mozambique’s cashew sector is characterized by some of the lowest yields and quality in the world. Some of its major challenges include replacing aging trees and improving agricultural and post-harvest practices to increase quality and yields. Seedling production is insufficient and seedling mortality in the fields is high, mainly because of poor seedling quality and poor agricultural practices. Technical assistance is almost non-existent in some parts of the country and the trees are not properly cared for.

Developed in two parts, comprised of a Desk Review and a Business Case, the report emphasizes that the most important intervention for a revival of the cashew sector in Mozambique is improving the quantity and quality of cashew produced in the country. Crop revival depends on investments in orchard replanting and the use of best agricultural practices, with the rational and efficient use of inputs -when needed- for achieving better yields and improving product quality in cashew growing areas that are still productive. The study demonstrates the potential of cashew farming in improving rural livelihoods and suggests ways the sustainability of the sector can be strengthened.

You can download the full report in EN/PT.