Building a Cashew Value Chain 

Partnerships for Forests is supporting Etc Terra-Rongead to strengthen the cashew value chain in Mozambique and provide forest friendly alternatives for smallholders.


Deforestation in the Zambézia province is almost exclusively driven by small-scale subsistence agriculture practices, where forest is often cut and burnt to clear land for crops like maize and cassava. Between 2001 and 2016, the province lost around 544,000 hectares of forest to this kind of agriculture and charcoal production, almost 5% of its total cover.

Despite once being a global leader, Mozambique’s cashew nut production has not fully recovered from a major decline since the civil war in the 1980s and early 1990s, and is limited by ageing and poorly maintained orchards.

Notwithstanding these challenges, there is great potential to increase the market value of alternative crops, which account for nearly 60% of smallholder farmers’ income.

The Project  

Partnerships for Forests is supporting Mozambique-based social enterprise Etc Terra-Rongead to conduct a feasibility study for building a cashew nut processing facility on the periphery of the 300,000-hectare Gilé National Reserve.

The processing facility will be supplied with locally grown raw cashew nuts from smallholders around the Gilé National Reserve based on a guaranteed purchase in return for commitments to reduce deforestation practices.  

On the condition that they will not clear forest trees for maize and cassava farms and follow conservation agriculture techniques, farmers will be offered a higher market price – raising incomes and disincentivising slash-and-burn farming. 

The project will also facilitate better access to the international market via ‘low-deforestation’ labels, with the added value of local production increasing through vertical integration. Demand-side measures will also be explored to secure higher prices for these cashews.  

The project is expected to bring 152,799 ha of land under sustainable land management by 2020 and mobilise £3,745,000 worth private investment. It will directly benefit around 5000 smallholders producing cashew nuts around the Gilé National Reserve as well as 400 employees within the cashew processing unit.


Lead Organisation: Etc. Terra-Rongead 

Implementing Organisations:

Public: World Bank, Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), including the National Fund for Sustainable Development (FNDS), the National Agency for Conservation Areas (ANAC) and the National Institute for Cashew Promotion (INCAJU). 

Private: Etc. Terra-Rongead holding  

Civil Society: Etc. Terra – Rongead NGO; local producers’ associations

Current status