Empowering West Africa’s Cashew Trade: A Remarkable Infrastructure Transformation

The partnership between SFL (Shelter For Life) and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has been instrumental in bringing about significant improvements to the cashew trade infrastructure in West Africa. This collaboration has set in motion a series of transformations that have not only bolstered the region’s cashew industry but also created numerous opportunities for local farmers and communities. Let’s delve into the remarkable impact of this infrastructure upgrade, highlighting the key developments that are shaping the future of cashew trade in the region.

Roads – The Pathway to Progress

The rehabilitation of key feeder and connector roads has been a game-changer for the cashew trade in West Africa. With 136 kilometers of roads revamped, the access to markets for smallholder farmers and processors has been dramatically improved. Previously, transportation bottlenecks hindered their ability to reach buyers and efficiently distribute their produce. Now, with smoother and more accessible roads, the cashew industry is experiencing a surge in growth and potential.

Job Creation and Economic Empowerment

One of the most remarkable outcomes of this infrastructure initiative is the creation of 4,640 job opportunities. As the roads and cashew trade facilities were upgraded, it resulted in a ripple effect of economic empowerment within the communities. Local labor was in demand, leading to improved livelihoods and increased economic stability for countless families. The rise in job opportunities not only benefits individuals directly involved in the cashew trade but also contributes to the overall economic growth of the region.

Revamping Storage Facilities

Ensuring the preservation of cashew nut quality is crucial for the success of the industry. To achieve this, the project undertook the rehabilitation of 23 cashew nut storage warehouses. Additionally, four new warehouses with a combined capacity of 39,443 m³ were constructed. These upgraded storage facilities help farmers maintain the quality of their nuts, preventing losses due to inadequate storage. With better storage options, farmers can now plan collective sales efficiently, enhancing their bargaining power and profitability.

Looking Ahead

The progress achieved thus far is only the beginning. With the momentum gained through this successful collaboration, plans are in place to complete ten additional storage facilities by the end of 2023. The collective vision is to create a robust and sustainable cashew industry in West Africa, ensuring it becomes a significant player in the global cashew trade. This will not only benefit the local economies but also promote food security and economic stability in the region.

The SFL and USDA partnership has indeed sparked a transformative change in West Africa’s cashew

trade landscape. Through the rehabilitation of feeder roads, job creation, and upgrading of storage facilities, the cashew industry is now more resilient and poised for growth. This transformation has not only empowered local farmers and communities but has also cemented the region’s position on the global cashew trade map. As we eagerly look towards the completion of upcoming projects, it is evident that the future of West Africa’s cashew industry is laden with promise, prosperity, and sustainable growth.

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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.