People working in a cashew factory.

Cultivating cashews and rice in West Africa to meet market requirements

Market-oriented value chains for jobs and growth in the ECOWAS region (MOVE)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    European Union (EU), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2021 to 2027

  • Products and expertise

    Rural development


The demand for rice in Africa and cashews in global markets is continuously growing. Rice and cashew cultivation could therefore provide better incomes and jobs in West Africa, but market potential remains untapped.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intends to use a rice initiative to ensure that the people in the region are fully self-sufficient in rice – which currently applies for just 50 per cent of them.


The living conditions of 100,000 rice and cashew producers in selected West African countries have improved significantly. The competitiveness of domestic rice and cashews is increased in order to meet rising regional demand.


The project builds on the success of the two previous projects, the Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew) and the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI).

It supports private stakeholders in developing their entrepreneurial skills and increasing investments. 100 small, medium-sized and large companies that primarily process rice and cashews, provide advice and support innovations are in focus.

The project trains cashew and rice producers in increasing their productivity while taking an economically, ecologically and climate-resilient approach.

It also organises public-private dialogue and cooperation between developing countries in order to shape policy in a fact-based, income-oriented and employment-oriented manner.

The project is co-financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Union. It cooperates with the regional Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC), African Cashew Alliance (ACA), Sustainable Nut Initiative (SNI) and Nitidae organisations.

Last update: January 2024

Additional information