How Côte d’Ivoire plans to double its cashew nut processing capacity

Boosting cashew nut processing in Côte d’Ivoire. This is the aim of the agreement signed on June 5, on the side-lines of the Africa CEO Forum, between the Indian group JG Group, represented by Doulat Jain, industrial zone developer Arise IIP, headed by Gagan Gupta, and Côte d’Ivoire, represented by Trade Minister Souleymane Diarrassouba.

JG Group, a diversified Indian conglomerate headed by a trio of brothers, is to build a cashew nut processing plant with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year. The $100 million investment will double the country’s current processing capacity.

Increased production

“This operation echoes the government’s commitment to making local processing a priority in the years to come, in order to stimulate sustainable economic growth”, said the Ivorian Minister of Commerce.

Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cocoa beans, became the world’s leading cashew nut producer in 2021. That same year, the country also entered the world podium of exporters of cashew kernels – the name given to the processed cashew nut – taking third place from Brazil, behind Vietnam and India.

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However, only a small proportion of its production is processed locally: between 10 and 12% in recent years, rising to around 20% by 2022. Last year, out of a production of just over one million tonnes, Côte d’Ivoire processed some 220,000 tonnes.


The announcement of this investment confirms the country’s ambitions in terms of local processing of its agricultural wealth, a challenge being pursued in parallel with efforts to increase production. Côte d’Ivoire’s annual cashew nut harvest has risen from 400,000 tonnes in 2011 to 968,676 tonnes in 2021, before topping the million tonne mark in 2022.

Construction of the plant, due to start in August 2022, is billed as the world’s largest by its promoters, and will be spread over 444 hectares developed by Arise IIP in the Akoupé-Zeudji special economic zone (PK24).

“We are convinced that this signing will not only create jobs, but also contribute more broadly to the industrialization of Côte d’Ivoire,” commented Roselyne Chambrier, CEO of Arise Ivoire, as the project is expected to create some 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“We look forward to participating in other investment initiatives in the agricultural value chain”, said Doulat Jain, whose group, active in import-export, agribusiness, real estate and industry in India, Dubai, Africa and Hong Kong, is making its first foray into Côte d’Ivoire.

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