The cashew industry in Guinea’s Kintinian and Didi zones is facing challenges, including weak structuring and a lack of agricultural service providers. Cashew growers in these zones were not benefiting from the appropriate and permanent agricultural services capable of solving their problems. This situation presented a business opportunity for local extension agents, also known as Agents Animateurs Villageois (AAVs), who received ongoing support from the Siguiri Agricultural Development Activity (SADA). AAVs could position themselves as agro-entrepreneurs in the cashew sector within their localities.

Funded by USAID and Société Anglogold Ashanti, SADA strengthened producers’ capacities and supports them in marketing their products by creating commercial links between all players in the cashew nut industry.

To address the problem of non-existent agricultural service providers, SADA selected 21 AAVs to participate in the Farmer Field School program. This included capacity-building and training in cultivation techniques, plant and crop processing, compliance with quality standards, entrepreneurship, drawing up business plans, product marketing, and more.

In addition, SADA organized exchange trips between AAVs and key players in the cashew sector in the Kankan and Boké regions. These trainings, trips, and contacts enabled several AAVs to develop their agronomic and entrepreneurial skills, allowing them to better serve their communities by passing on training, support, and advice to local cashew producers.

To sustain these activities after SADA concluded, the SADA team assisted AAVs in developing agricultural services through an entrepreneurial approach. Two AAVs, Djigui and Mamadi Camara, successfully set up agricultural services in their respective communities.

Mamadi Camara is a member of the Sinignassi producer organization in Setiguiyah. He used the knowledge he gained from SADA’s training to set up a nursery with 2,450 seedlings. To date, 18 producers have ordered 2,000 plants, corresponding to 20 hectares of cashew plantations. These customers are members of his producer organization from his and neighboring villages. Mamadi is committed to satisfying the agricultural service needs of his members and local producers. He is currently negotiating a partnership with a shelling machine manufacturer to process raw cashew nuts.

Like their colleagues, these two AAVs were heavily involved in SADA activities aimed at popularizing agricultural and marketing techniques. They used their dynamism to support producer organizations in obtaining official documents from the administrative and customary authorities to allocate estates for school fields and cashew nut marketing collection points (attestation of session and land title).

“Thanks to the training I have received from [SADA], I feel able to replicate all the good farming and marketing practices I have learned. This enables me to position myself as a key player in the provision of agricultural services to other players in the cashew value chain.”

Mamadi Camara, a member of the Sinignassi producer organization

SADA concluded in the spring of 2023. Meanwhile, another ACDI/VOCA-led activity in Guinea, the Cooperative Development Program, funded by USAID, will continue to support players in the cashew industry, particularly AAVs, in popularizing techniques acquired through an entrepreneurial approach. This will enable AAVs to develop small- and medium-sized enterprises around these activities, thereby ensuring the sustainability of their agricultural services to members of producer organizations and communities.

Learn more about the Siguiri Agricultural Development Activity.

Learn more about our work in Guinea.