Nursery cultivation - key results:
- From August 2021 - March 2022, staff produced 74,040 cashew seedlings from three nurseries. These were supplied to 1,874 farmers, with a survival rate of around 75%.
- 45 nursery workers received training in grafting, and training to cultivate vegetables in the nurseries, which were eaten or sold.
Growing quality cashew enterprises - key results:
- 120 cashew VTEs were trained in orchard management practices (eg pruning, integrated pest management, composting). 70% of participants reported that they have adopted practices on their own land.
- 150 VTE members received training on cashew apple processing and marketing.
- 60 members from cashew apple groups also took part in trade fairs
- +182% increase in the average sales generated by Cashew VTE group +149% average increase in their average annual profits.
- Overall, the proportion of household income sourced from Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) increased from 8% to 46% for participants.
- 74% of participants rated the quality of their harvested cashews as either ‘Very High’ or ‘High’ quality. Farmers receive better prices when selling high quality produce at market.
Building collaborative businesses - key results:
- The project established 30 new VTE groups, which were supported to develop legume, cashew apple and hone businesses. All groups received technical and business training, as well as essential equipment.
- Average sales for non-cashew VTE groups were $752 with an average profit of $415 (April 2022).
- For honey enterprise groups, a total of 320 beehives (200 more than our target) were distributed along with beekeeping equipment.
- Gender equality: Awareness-raising sessions took place in 25 villages, raising awareness of the benefits of involving women and youth in enterprise development.
- Tree Aid worked with CECOTAPS to support 30 VTE groups to secure formal land access so their businesses can grow long after the project ends.
- Our surveys showed that income was spent on essentials such as education, health services, and food. However, the most common use of income was to reinvest back into the VTE business, showing the groups' commitment to developing their enterprises.
Developing a Market Information System (MIS)
This was developed to keep VTE members up to date with current prices and market conditions has also been launched and is now being managed by the cooperative union with support from Tree Aid.
The system contains farmer’s information, and buyers can also use the system to order produce. We are now training staff and Cooperative Union members on how to manage and maintain the system in the long term.