September 2016 Newsletter

ACA Hosts Successful Workshop in Banjul Under USAID WATIH Project

Under its partnership with USAID West Africa Trade & Investment Hub, ACA concluded the last session of the Cashew Processing Business Management & Market Information Systems Training Workshop Series in Banjul, the Gambia from 23rd to 24th August, 2016. The Honorable Minister of Trade, Industry
and Employment of the Gambia declared the workshop open after the welcome remarks from the president of the Cashew Alliance of Gambia (CAG) Mr. Momodou Ceesay, the Managing Director of the ACA Dr. Babafemi Oyewole, the country director for the IRD Mr. Boubacarr Sow, and the representative from ComAfrique Mr. Ram Mohan. This sub-regional training workshop was attended by 30 cashew processors, market analysts and other stakeholders coming from four countries: Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and Senegal. The session focused on cashew business management and marketing information system technologies. Such workshops help to significantly increase managerial capacity building via technical and markets knowledge and understanding of cashew business dynamics in the West African cashew value chain. The session for processors was facilitated by Sunil Dahiya, ACA Chief Business Officer, and included topics such as technological innovation trends, global competitiveness and economics, procurement, production quality assurance, waste management & value addition, and business expansion planning. Mr. Ger Bal, an independent waste management scientist from Wasecaol, Holland, also shared his innovations on bio-charcoal extraction from cashew shells. The sessions for Market Information System (MIS) professionals was facilitated by Olivier Kabre, ACA Chief of MIS & Partnerships Development and Isaac Brou, ACA ICT Consultant. The MIS session focused on the usage of a new ACA SMS technology, which allows market information to be sent directly to farmers and stakeholders in the field to enable them to be regularly informed about market developments. The event was a great success with active local support from the
Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Employment of The Gambia, the Cashew Alliance of Gambia, ComAfrique, and the cashew business community. ACA used the opportunity of the workshop to organize a press conference on the forthcoming ACA World Cashew Festival and Expo taking place in Guinea Bissau. The press conference was used to sensitize the participants and the Gambian cashew industry on the need to participate in the conference, which also marks the 10th year anniversary of the establishment of the ACA.