Tolaro Global is the leading cashew processing company in Benin. Founded in 2010, the company processes and exports cashews to premium markets in Europe and the United States. The company buys raw cashew nuts from 7,000 smallholder farmers and employs more than 650 workers, thus creating significant economic impact in Benin.

The CFC is financing the company’s expansion plans. The project entails the acquisition of equipment to increase the processing capacity of Tolaro from 3,500 MT to 20,000 MT by 2023. The number of farmers delivering raw cashew nuts to Tolaro is expected to increase from 7,000 to 15,000 by 2023. The number of factory jobs is expected to increase from 650 to 1,500 over the same period.

Current status

In 2019, Tolaro processed 5,500 MT of cashew nuts compared to 5,100 MT in 2018. The company obtained the British Retail Consortium (BRC) certification for its roasting, seasoning and packaging facility.  This is the highest standard of food safety, quality and operational excellence within a food manufacturing organisation. Initially planned for 2018, the go-to-market for the roasted product was delayed into 2019 with expected ramp up in 2020.

Since January 2017, Moringa is financing the up- scaling of primary processing along with a larger outgrower program and the construction of a roasting, seasoning and packaging facility to produce the first roasted cashew nut 100% made in West Africa.

Tolaro is now sourcing Fair Trade labelled and organic certified cashew nuts from a sound outgrower program, providing trainings on agroforestry land management, yield improvements, women empowerment and farm diversification. Thereby, it is creating a sustainable and competitive ecosystem for cashew harvesting, processing and export in Benin.

A socio-economic study undertaken by Business Call to Action (initiative launched by the UNDP) has shown some important achievements. Amongst Tolaro partner farmers, 80% received training from Tolaro. Amongst these, 38% reported increased production and 54% increased quality. 74% of the partner farmers are now members of cooperatives – strengthening farmers’ position in the value chain and allowing them to gain fair trade certification and obtain better prices.

When 90% of West Africa cashew crops are exported to be processed away from Africa, mainly in Asia, Tolaro will not only help integrating furthermore the regional industry and Beninese smallholders in the cashew nut value chain, it will also encourage others to come forward to do more of the same.

PROJECT OVERVIEW CFC-2015-06-0032
Project type: Regular project Organization: Tolaro Global
Commodity: Cashew CFC Financing: USD 1,500,000 Loan (of which USD 1,000,000 is financed by OPEC Fund for International  Development (OFID))
Country: Benin Cofinanciers: Tolaro Global USD 464,637, Moringa Fund USD 5,000,000
Form of finance: Loan Target Impact indicators:
  • Beneficiaries covered: 15,000
  • Gender of the beneficiaries: 50% women
  • Additional jobs created: 850
  • Total processing capacity: increase from 3,500 MT to 20,000 MT
  • Re-use of cashew shells for the biomass steam generation system: increase from 30% to 100% reuse
SDGs Impacted

 



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