In rural Cote d'Ivoire, Olam has been running economic programmes to boost the incomes and livelihoods of smallholder cashew farmers for several years, but up until recently, farmers received no such education or support on health and nutrition.
Olam’s Sustainable Cashew Growers Programme (SCGP) is now addressing the issue following a comprehensive food study of 797 households, that revealed stark micronutrient deficiencies in the majority of diets and only 27% and 6% of women and young children respectively, getting access to the food they need.
The analysis also exposed a lack of self-sufficiency amongst farmers, 76% of whom have converted land they once used to grow food into cashew farms in the last five years. Being almost entirely dependent on the crop for income increases their vulnerability to market fluctuations, seriously affecting their ability to buy food and feed their families.
Based on these findings, the cashew business is implementing various actions to tackle food security risks and malnutrition, such as food crop support, livelihood diversification and nutrition education, to mitigate food security risks and improve nutrition; which falls under the team’s AtSource + action plan.
"Anything that jeopardises farmers' well-being also jeopardises our supply chain, so this study has provided our team with very important insights on where we need to step up our efforts. We see these activities as a win for the farmers, their families and our business.” Prateek Gautam, General Manager- Cashew.