Producer organizations will access high-yield trees and increase sales using improved seed varieties provided by the Siguiri Agricultural Development Activity.
Under the hot Guinean sun, hundreds of cashew farmers patiently wait for the rainy season to commence in the month of June each year. In Siguiri, which lies in remote northeastern Guinea, cashew producers have experienced significant technical and financial constraints in producing cashew nuts, a key cash crop.
Producer organizations, such as Groupement des Producteurs d’Anacarde de Kintinian (GPAK), have struggled to produce and sell quality cashews because of their aging trees, inconsistent varieties, a lack of adequate inputs, and the remoteness of the area. These challenges have only been exacerbated by COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions over the last two years.
Beginning in 2020, the Siguiri Agricultural Development Activity (SADA), implemented by ACDI/VOCA and funded by USAID and the global gold-mining company Société AngloGold Ashanti de Guinée, began helping cashew farmers strengthen their producer organizations. In the first two years, SADA has supported 21 producer organizations through Farmer Field Schools and trainings, sharing agronomy and management best practices to increase cashew quality and yields. To support producers and establish sustainable practices, in 2022, SADA distributed in-kind grants to equip each group with 28 kilograms of improved cashew seeds in preparation for Siguiri’s planting season. With these seeds, farmers gained affordable access to high-yield trees, allowing them to replace old, low-yield trees.
On June 2, 2022, leaders of the 21 SADA-supported producer organizations gathered in SADA’s Siguiri office to receive the seed grants. They were joined by the Commune of Didi’s mayor, local radio stations, and televised media coverage, which recognized them for their arduous, yet invaluable work. The groups’ representatives vowed to work with their leaders and the SADA team to enhance their agricultural knowledge so they can fully realize a return on the investment in improved seeds.
During the event, representatives discussed their successes and failures, strengthening a sense of community. Siaka Berete, president of GPAK, shared the challenges his group faced and attested to the long-term benefits this grant would have for him and his broader community.
“This opportunity will enable us [PO members] to expand our existing plantations, to plant and sell better quality cashews. Our hard work will make an example in the Siguiri area.-Siaka BERETE, president of the GPAK producer organization
Mr. Berete also described how his group will use the seeds to plant in their own cashew nurseries. Several Siguiri-based groups have begun building nurseries thanks to SADA’s support. They will start growing and planting their improved cashew seedlings in the 2022 season and expect to see yields increase when the planted trees mature in three years.
With higher yields and better quality nuts, the groups will be able to access higher-value markets for raw cashew nuts, such as cashew exporters and processors, which will increase their incomes and improve their livelihoods. As an investment in their future, groups have already reached out to the Conakry-based improved cashew seeds supplier to plan for a new seed purchase for next year.
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