World leading cocoa producing giants, Ivory Coast, has added yet another exporting feat to its growing export sector after overtaking India to become the world’s biggest exporter of cashew nuts.
This new status will be the first step of President Alassane Ouattara’s medium term plans to have 100% of the cashew nuts produced in the West African country, processed internally by 2020.
Ivory Coast was rated recently by the international Monetary Fund (IMF) as Africa’s fastest growing economy with Gross domestic Product expected to grow by over 8 percent this year. The cashew boom will also lead to more jobs and money flowing into the Ivorian economy.
President Ouattara is credited with transforming the Ivorian economy after coming out of a political turmoil that derailed the country’s economic potentials.
The country’s tourism was recently hit by terrorist activity in the coastal resort town of Grand Bassam; but the country has resolved to fight terrorist in the aftermath.
Cocoa is Ivory Coast’s biggest cash crop, accounting for 22% of gross domestic product, more than half its exports and two-thirds of people’s jobs and incomes, according to the World Bank.
Ivory Coast currently processes around a third of its cocoa production locally, most of it into semi-finished products such as cocoa butter and powder.
The west African nation’s 12 grinding facilities processed nearly 570,000 tons of beans in 2014, up more than 20% from the previous year.