West Africa is the leading producer of raw cashews, yet 90% of these raw nuts are sent outside of Africa for processing.
Africa and West African countries account for 58% and 44% of global cashew production in 2022 respectively.
While production volume increased by 5.4% last year, Cote d'Ivoire remains the largest exporter of cashew nuts in the world producing about 837,850 tonnes in 2021 and is set to reach a domestic processing rate of 40%.
Tanzania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria are among the top producers in the region with nothing less than 100,000 tonnes.
As of today, African cashew has a market size of $793.37 million which is expected to grow to $950.04 million by 2028. The continent is the second-largest exporter of cashew kernels in Europe, while 90% of its produce are being exported to Vietnam and India.
However, cashew farmers and exporters only get a fraction of the retail price despite the crop value growth.