Dialogue Between Government and Cashew and Shea Stakeholders
In recent years, the cashew sector is facing marketing difficulties. For prove, the 2018 commercial campaign was the most catastrophic. The planters and traders could not export their products. The main cashew markets for Benin cashew nuts, Vietnam and India, remained closed.
In recent years, the cashew sector is undermined by marketing difficulties. For decades, civil society organizations have unsuccessfully called on the government to regulate the cashew market in Benin. The year 2018 will mark a turning point with the great commercial shock that destabilized the sector. The planters and traders could not export their products. The main cashew markets for Benin cashew nuts, Vietnam and India, remained closed. The residual stock estimated at 35,000 tons remained unsold, while the country has only a processing capacity estimated at 30% of total production (estimated at about 134,000 tons per year).
And the government enters into action
This commercial shock prompted the government to intensify the dialogue with non-state actors in the sector. The two parties met in August 2918, under the technical and financial support from ICCO Cooperation via Civic Engagement Alliance program and Technoserve, aiming at making the diagnosis and commitments to overcome such situation that has, all the time, undermined the development of the sector. It was in the presence of the Minister in charge of trade and industry, Mr Serge AHISSOU who was joined by his colleague of agriculture, Mr Gaston DOSSOUHOUI. The government has made a commitment to respond positively to the demand by accepting to validate two decrees that will regulate more clearly the cashew marketing environment in Benin.
Confirmation of change of governmental attitude
As result, in December 2018, the government sent to the civils society organzations of cashew and shea the drafts of two decrees for the regulation of the marketing of the two products. This, in order to gather their observations and proposals for improving the drafts. Better, government experts were ordered to assist civil society organizations in the exercise. From 28th to 29th January 2019, with the technical and financial support of the Civic Engagement Alliance Benin program, organzaions undertake the review of the two decrees, together with a report addressed to the Minister of Commerce.
Meanwhile earlier in September 2018, the Minister of Agriculture had endorsed a formal framework of "public & private" dialogue under the grip of ICCO and GIZ. This framework will be the scene of intense dialogues between the government and civil society organizations of cashew and shea during the year 2019. This change of attitude is the expression of a shared commitment between the organizations and the government for the inclusive development of the two sectors shea and cashew.
On the picture: Technoserve representative, Minister for Trade and Industry AHISSOU and ICCO representative