Cashew Chain Value in Guiné-Bissau: Challenges and Contributions for Food Security: A Case Study for Guiné-Bissau

Bernardo Reynolds Pacheco de Carvalho, Henrique Mendes


Guiné-Bissau is a recent example of political stabilization after a recent period of instability, where the international community can play an important role in cooperation and development, but with innovation and new effective policies. Food security is certainly one of the big issues to be addressed and cashew production and respective chain value one of the main opportunities to improve the quality of life for many families. Guinea-Bissau can be considered one of the most fragile countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, but at the same time with significant economic potential. Poverty alleviation is very much dependent from agricultural activities and agribusiness will be always at the core of the most possible solutions. Within those possible solutions the contribution of the cashew sector is crucial, which has been playing already a key role in the economy and in the family survival equation. More than 80% of the families depend from agricultural activities and most of them are linked to the production of cashew. This crop represents more than 90% of exports, and at the same time is responsible for income alleviation resources at local family base. However Cashew expansion is a very recent phenomena, with about 20 years of success, beyond all political “turmoil.” Today the country is the second biggest in Africa, after Ivory Coast, and the fourth worldwide (also after India and Vietnam). Exports were around 20 thousand tons in 1990 and close to 200 thousand tons in the last year’s production. But the most important factors to be considered in a cash crop business is also a very “unique” structure of production, mostly family based and where the average dimension of production per family is dominantly between 1 to 2 hectares. Very much related to those structural characteristics, which vary by region, is the role of this crop in the food security dimension of the families, which is calculated to represent in average 4,8 months of income needs for food per year. The research addresses the Cashew chain value in Guiné-Bissau, added value possibilities with transformation, better markets, improved institutional environment and other alternatives aiming to promote the global value creation but also the dynamics of the food system, able to promote the family welfare and a sustainable development process.


Guiné-Bissau; Cashew Agro-business Chain; Food security; Sustainable Development

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ISSN 1869-6945


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