Cashew nuts for farmers’ income Uganda
Duration: February 2014 – February 2017. This project has been finalized.
Aim: Integration of the cashew nut tree as a perennial cash crop by enhancing smallholder cashew nut production and productivity by introducing, developing and maintaining cashew varieties with desirable traits, adapted to various agro-ecologies and acceptable to international markets as an additional source of income for the livelihoods of poor farmers.
Objective: Contribute to food, nutrition and farmer income security.
Method: Farmer participatory research on the introduction of high yielding and adapted cashew varieties – finding good genes and develop seed stands/ A value chain analysis on the entire chain from production to marketing will position the market opportunity/ The knowledge and experience will be generated in a participative way with the target group and sustained by institutional networks.
Dutch policy goals: Increase sustainable food production; and Efficient markets.
Year 1: The introduction of cashew nut as cash crop for farmers in Uganda will contribute to increase their incomes and food security. The research aspect of this project aims to identify the critical success factors for adoption and socio economic impact of Good Agricultural Practices in the existing farming system.
Year 2: To increase the cashew nut yield and quality in Northern Uganda, the research team established seven nurseries for seedlings. Twelve hundred farmers planted these seedlings. These farmers got training in agronomic practices and quality control. The researchers also conducted a study on identification and multiplication of cashew varieties, in order to raise the yield and increase earliness of bearing and tolerance to pest and diseases. They established 21 demonstration centers and rehabilitated one multiplication center in Omodoi.
The team also conducted studies on farmer perceived areas of improvement, current cashew nut management practices, pest and disease challenges, farmers organizations and market opportunities. Fungal and bacterial diseases appeared to be responsible for the deaths and diseases of many cashew trees. That means new varieties and improved agricultural practices are badly needed. Another outcome was that there is a high demand for cashew nuts among supermarkets in the bigger towns. Currently they are only supplied by processors in Kenya and Tanzania. There is no national supplier of cashew nut kernels, except for one big farm of 245 hectare cashew trees.
The team has improved cashew nut expertise within extension services by providing a training for staff members in production technology, pest and disease control, and pre- and post-harvest handling. The project members also registered 3500 cashew nut farmers that want to improve the yield and quality of their nuts.
Summary of the results: The project “Cashew Nuts for Income Security for the Rural Poor Farmers in Northern Uganda” was initiated in 2014. Parties involved came to a common goal to promote the introduction of cashew nuts for income security for the rural poor farmers in North and East Uganda by increasing overall cashew production in both quantities as well as quality, to improve market access for producers and to develop and sustain knowledge transfer of knowledge on cashew production. The project succeeded in disseminating new cashew varieties among 3,200 producers, resulting in more than 164,000 new trees. A value chain analysis, a base line, a price policy and business models were developed for nursery operators and for processing. The government at different levels has shown interest in cashew as a tree to promote. A sourcing system has been developed as a joint venture between a local processor UCPL and Away4Africa, resulting in purchasing 20% of the local production in 2017 Sold in local markets.