Guinea Bissau Cashew-Nut Farmers Say Liberalization Plan

The liberalization of the cashew-industry in Guinea Bissau, Africa’s second-biggest grower, has failed and caused smuggling to neighboring countries, the head of the farmers organization said.

The government didn’t set a minimum price and the nuts are now trading for between 125 CFA francs ($0.25) and 150 CFA francs per kilogram, down from as much as 400 francs a year ago, Mama Samba Embalo, president of the National Farmers Union, said in an interview yesterday.

Many farmers smuggle their crop to neighboring Senegal where prices are between 300 and 350 CFA francs, he said.

“If the government cannot create local conditions for farmers to sell their cashew nuts, I do not see the reason why the farmers should be denied the choice of selling their cashew in good prices beyond the borders,” he said. “It’s a tough stance.”

Exports of the nuts fell to 125,000 metric tons in 2012 from 170,000 the year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Caramo Cassama in Johannesburg at ccassam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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