Following harvest, Alieu Faye takes his cashew nuts to be weighed and sold to processors. Adding value to cashews through processing is part of the government's strategy to increase its trade capacity and proceeds from its agriculture yields.
Photo: Ollivier Girard/EIF


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The tiny West African country The Gambia is striving to export its crops globally. This demands a range of organisational, regulatory and infrastructural efforts, which means tackling everything from pests and yields to policy and logistics. The cashew, sesame and groundnut farmers are benefiting from the interaction of stakeholders from the agriculture, research, trade and logistics sector, and this contributes to an upswing in private sector development.

Despite being one of Africa’s smallest nations, The Gambia has a lot of room to grow. Having experienced a democratic change in the government in 2017 after 22 years, the country is making it clear that it is open for business. This means a fresh and inclusive trade agenda that aims to improve life for the Gambian people, half of whom live below the poverty line and are largely dependent on agriculture.

“Thirty per cent of The Gambia’s GDP is agriculture, and 70 per cent of the people are employed in the area of agriculture. Now, there is this effort being made to improve the value of agricultural products apart from the raw products. We are now trying to add value particularly in the area of cashew, sesame

and groundnuts,” said Gambian Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment Isatou Touray in an interview in the country’s capital, Banjul, in May 2018.

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