Guinea-Bissau achieved independence from Portugal in 1973 following nearly twenty years of armed rebellion. Despite a combination of political coups, civil wars, food insecurity, and other obstacles to stability, Guinea-Bissau has great potential to advance its citizen’s livelihoods and develop the national economy. The country has a vast supply of natural resources, including a growing cashew nut sector. SFL is one of few INGOs that is active in the country. Since 2018, our team has worked to support local farmers by developing agricultural farming practices and market linkages in the cashew sector.

Our Work:

Linking Infrastructure, Finance, and Farms to Cashew (LIFFT-Cashew)

The SeGaBi cashew production zone of West Africa encompasses parts of the Gambia, the Casamance region of Senegal, and most of Guinea-Bissau. This agro-ecological zone produces over 222,000 metric tons of raw cashew nut annually, however only 1.2% of raw cashew nut produced is processed locally. The weakening of the regional cashew value chain has left many farmers without economic opportunity, stagnating market infrastructure and financial services.

LIFFT-Cashew will create durable trade infrastructure, increase access to financial services, organize and train smallholder farmers to increase production and bargaining power, and build the capacity of local processors to add value to kernels in the SeGaBi cashew production zone. As a result, the program will benefit smallholder farmers, a range of processors, and a variety of other businesses along the cashew value chain.

Our program addresses this by developing value chain linkages necessary to support an integrated regional trade network for the cashew value chain, and enhancing the production and trade of cashews in local and international markets.

"When the road was completed, we came back and realized that the road had also brought peace with it." ~Bourama

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.