🌿🌍 Empowering Cashew Farmers for a Sustainable Future! 🌾🌟 

In the heartlands of Senegal, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau lies a pivotal industry – the cashew sector. With its economic significance, the cashew industry has been the lifeblood of many small shareholder farmers in the region. However, faced with the challenges posed by climate change and resource constraints, these farmers often grapple with ensuring sustainable practices while meeting growing global demands. 

Enter Shelter For Life (SFL) and LIIFT-Cashew, organizations dedicated to catalyzing sustainable development in West Africa.  

In collaboration with local stakeholders, SFL has been playing a pivotal role in supporting the cashew industry through mentorship training in Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). Their efforts have been multi-faceted, involving model farms, cooperative (CO-OP) meetings, and active participation in industry events like the 17th Annual Cashew Conference and Expo in September 2023. 

At the core of SFL’s approach lies the elevation of small shareholder farmers. By providing mentorship, farmers are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate climate challenges and resource limitations. Through model farms, farmers gain firsthand experience and practical insights into implementing sustainable practices, ensuring they are adept at utilizing modern techniques while preserving traditional wisdom. 

The benefits of SFL’s mentorship extend beyond mere agricultural practices. By embracing CSA, the cashew industry becomes more resilient to the impacts of climate change. These practices address critical natural resource concerns such as soil health, water quality, pollination, wildlife habitat preservation, and improved air quality. 

CSA not only enhances food security and livelihoods but also contributes to increased production and income for farmers. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in reducing deforestation and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with global sustainability goals. 

The regular CO-OP meetings orchestrated by SFL serve as knowledge-sharing hubs where farmers can exchange experiences, troubleshoot challenges, and collectively adopt innovative solutions. Additionally, participation in industry conferences like the 17th Annual Cashew Conference and Expo amplifies the visibility of these sustainable practices, encouraging wider adoption across the sector. 

By supporting small shareholder farmers in embracing CSA and GAPs, SFL fosters a more sustainable and resilient cashew industry. Through their mentorship programs, they not only empower farmers with the skills needed for adapting to climate change but also contribute to safeguarding natural resources, enhancing productivity, and bolstering economic opportunities. 

Shelter For Life’s dedication to supporting Climate Smart Agriculture within the cashew industry across Senegal, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau heralds a promising future. Their mentorship initiatives bring forth not only agricultural advancement but also pave the way for a more sustainable, resilient, and environmentally conscious industry, benefiting both the local communities and the global environment. 

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Mustafa Omar, CEO

Mustafa Omar
Chief Executive Officer

Mustafa Omar has worked for Shelter For Life International in the field and Headquarters management positions; managing projects, leading new business development, and guiding operations around the world. Mr. Omar was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan and has worked in post-conflict reconstruction, Disaster Risk Reduction caused by human or natural phenomena, and market-revitalization efforts in Central Asia, East and West Africa, Europe, and Middle East for the past twenty (20) plus years. Mustafa holds graduate degrees in business administration and urban planning and is working on a PhD at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Topics of research and professional interest include Market Resilience and Social Risk-Management, Influence of Environmental Degradation on Fragile Markets, Impact of Improving Physical Space on Lasting Peace, and the Interaction between Modern Governance and Informal Market Structures.

Gordon Wright
Vice Chairman

Gordon A. Wright is Founder and President of over 40 years with JIMI International and is an Elder at Tulsa Christian Fellowship. Mr. Wright owned and operated a lawn and tree service business for nearly 15 years. Mr. Wright also served with the US Army for three years in the 1960s.Two of Mr. Wright’s years were spent in South Korea as a Brigade Intelligence Sergeant. Mr. Wright has provided mentoring and counseling to spiritual leaders around the world; with specific attention to individuals in Russia, Ukraine and former Soviet Bloc countries. Mr. Wright helped to found and direct East/West Resources International and Global Assistance Partners International. Mr. Wright has served as one of the original founding board of directors for Shelter For Life International. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Gordon grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.