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Enhancing Cashew Manufacturing through Inspiring Group-Led Movies

Sheryl Cowan, Senior Vice President of Packages at Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) and Jean Francois, Chief of Occasion of CNFA’s West Africa Cashew Venture (PRO-Cashew), define how movie initiatives might be utilized to construct capability amongst smallholders.

Married with 5 kids, Irié Lou Tinan Rosalie lives in Gouenfla, a village inside the Zuenoula division within the western a part of central Côte d’Ivoire. Like most girls in her village, she works along with her husband to keep up and harvest the household’s four-hectare cashew plantation, although she was by no means formally skilled. Cashew manufacturing is a crucial business in Côte d’Ivoire, which holds almost 25 per cent of the world’s cashew nut market.

However like different West African cashew producers, Rosalie additionally faces a spread of extreme challenges—together with lowered yields as a result of ageing cashew tree shares; farmers’ restricted technical and monetary capability to rehabilitate and renovate ageing orchards; and an underdeveloped nursery sector unable to offer well timed and constant high-performance seedlings to offset declines in productiveness.

Constructing capability via movie

Recognising the necessity to present superior cashew manufacturing and post-harvest coaching to households like Rosalie’s, the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Venture, applied by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), in 2021 organized and performed a sequence of community-based academic movie occasions—dubbed Ciné Village—to assist producers like Rosalie study cashew manufacturing, harvest and post-harvest finest practices and strategies.

By means of the initiative, which ran in Côte d’Ivoire this yr, the mission facilitated interactive, family-friendly movie screenings geared toward bettering the enabling setting within the cashew sector and constructing the capability of smallholder farmers. The grassroots academic effort was designed to offer an inviting, family-centred setting the place cashew farming households might come collectively within the coronary heart of their communities to study finest practices in cashew manufacturing, harvest and post-harvest dealing with.

Ivorian cashew producers, with the help of Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Improvement and different improvement companions, helped to develop the community-driven movies’ content material to raised handle the precise wants and pursuits of Ivorian producers. Every movie screening engaged its viewers via informative and entertaining clips, animations, and interactive boards the place members had been capable of ask native cashew consultants questions and share their very own experiences and data.

“I discovered lots because of the arrival of Ciné Village movies in our village,” says Irié Lou Tinan Rosalie. Picture credit score: CNFA

Empowering girls and bettering manufacturing

Although girls are on the centre of sustaining orchards and harvesting uncooked cashew nuts, conventional cashew coaching fashions traditionally haven’t included them. Nevertheless, PRO-Cashew developed Ciné Village as an progressive technique to increase the attain of its coaching program and construct the capability of extra smallholder farmers—particularly girls.

“I had by no means participated in a coaching on cashew nuts,” mentioned Rosalie, who attended the Ciné Village movie screening in Gouenfla in June 2021. “Earlier than collaborating within the movie screening, every thing I knew about cashew manufacturing got here from my husband.”

However the brand new coaching modified all that.

“I discovered lots because of the arrival of Ciné Village movies in our village,” Rosalie mentioned. “I didn’t know that it was important to make use of string to separate the nut from the apple to dry cashews effectively for no less than three days, to place them in jute baggage and to require a receipt on the time of sale. Right this moment I do know this, and I believe it’ll change the best way I work.”

As a result of the Ciné Village coaching methodology was created to align with the village tradition in West Africa—the place social gatherings are an integral a part of the group—entire households can take part within the trainings. This implies every participant can achieve the abilities essential to domesticate a extra in depth and better high quality cashew harvest, enhance livelihoods and incomes and broaden their household’s financial horizons. Or, as Rosalie factors out, “The films and exchanges haven’t solely opened our eyes to the potential of our cashew nuts, however in addition they opened our pockets as a result of a greater sale all the time accompanies a greater manufacturing.”

A ripe cashew fruit. Picture credit score: Pixabay

Scaling internationally

The outcomes of the coaching program have been vital. Since its launch in Côte d’Ivoire on July 24, 2021, Ciné Village has skilled 3,362 cashew producers, together with 978 girls (29.08 per cent). By 2022, PRO-Cashew plans to increase the initiative to Nigeria, Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso, and can translate this system’s movies into the native languages.

This system additionally plans to supply a further sequence of movies for Côte d’Ivoire that target cashew nursery and orchard creation, orchard upkeep, built-in pest administration and orchard renovation and rehabilitation. By the tip of 2022, Ciné Village goals to coach greater than 9,000 cashew farmers to raised handle their cashew orchards with enhanced planting, harvesting and storage practices.

Whereas the method of Ciné Village is straightforward, it illustrates a probably highly effective method to construct capability at scale amongst smallholders. This community-based exercise has performed a big function in boosting producer capacities and growing the competitiveness of West African cashews within the worldwide market.