Better Prices for Cashew Farmer Thanks To New Road


Mamadou is the head of a household of ten. He has four children, one of whom is in school. He makes his money by growing peanuts, maize, potatoes, and cashews. He brings his cashew harvest from his plantation in Saliot to Djibanar (six kilometers away) on his bicycle every day, where he sells it to transporters from Ziguinchor.

He says, “When we went to the bush, we were always calculating whether or not rebels would find us there. You cannot make money when the place you’re living is not safe.” MFDC rebels explicitly told him and other farmers that they were not allowed to harvest their trees anymore, since the rebels were taking the crops. Mamadou remembers getting caught once after risking a trip to the bush to harvest his trees, his main source of income. “They surrounded me and started beating me with the butts of their guns.”

Mamadou Gassama - Farmer along SFL Road #10, Djibanar to Bafata

Mamadou Gassama – Farmer along SFL Road #10, Djibanar to Bafata

Like almost everyone in his village and the neighboring ones, Mamadou stopped harvesting his crops. He grew what he could in Djibanar, but it was never enough to replace the income his cashew trees had generated. Even when the conflict started to cool, people remained fearful about traveling on the road: “The old road was so narrow that you were scared of getting ambushed. Now that it’s large, you meet people moving. This has a positive impact on the mind of travelers. People are realizing that Djibanar is safe now, and peace is returning.”

Mamadou sees the road as a “huge sign of progress.” Now, cashew transporters come to Djibanar, and because the new road is much more navigable for them he can negotiate a better price for his harvest. “Before, transporting cashews was very difficult because of the roads. Now, it’s so easy.” Mamadou says he thinks most of the cashew producers in his area are able to get better prices because of the road. He is making more money now than he was a few years ago, and plans to reinvest in his cashew plantation.

Road before Rehabilitiatiox

Road before Rehabilitiatiox

Road after completion

Road after completion


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Mustafa Omar
Chief Executive Officer

Mustafa Omar has worked in Shelter For Life’s field projects and headquarters organizational management positions, leading operations and business development around the world. Mr. Omar has managed and overseen a variety of projects in some of the world’s most difficult places to work, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, and South Sudan. He holds a degree in Economics from University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and a graduate degree in Urban Planning from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

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.