Guinea Bissau’s Acting President Raimundo Pereira has called on the country’s government to promote the processing of cashew nut, noting that the country “can not keep on exporting raw cashew nut.”
Speaking at the launch of the campaign for cashew nut commercialisation here on Sunday, Pereira declared “I urgently call on the government of Carlos Gomes Juni o r (Prime Minister and head of government) to conduct awareness campaign on cashe w nut processing.
“The government is promoting the cashew nut industry through the process of sett ing up the National Cashew Nut Institute as well as a fund to encourage the loca l processing of this product,” he added.
Last year, the government was wary of fixing the reference price of the kilogram of cashew nuts, but the kilogram was sold at 300 CFAF while the average export t ariff increased from US$ 550 per tonne in 2007 to US$ 750 per tonne in 2008.
The country exported 110,000 tonnes of cashew nuts last year, an increase of abo ut 4,000 tonnes, compared with 2007.
Guinea Bissau is the leading raw cashew nut exporter in Africa and the fifth in the world.
Cashew tree plantations cover an area of 175,000 hectares, an increase in the an nual rate of four per cent, according to official statistics.