Nearly half of the population of Guinea-Bissau, a small country in western Africa which relies heavily on cashews for income, is struggling for food as cashew prices drop. From IRIN News:
DAKAR, 18 July 2013 (IRIN) – A slump in cashew nut prices in Guinea-Bissau has left nearly half of the population eking out food, with families skipping meals or selling livestock to survive until the next harvest in September, aid groups say.
The average price per kg of cashews is 112 CFA francs (two US cents) – the lowest yet – down from an average of 300 CFA in 2012. The 63 percent drop is due to plummeting international prices, reduced demand from Guinea-Bissau’s main cashew importer (India), the April 2012 coup, disagreements between the government and traders on benchmark price as well as banks’ decision to reduce loans to traders.
“The result is a significant decrease of [people’s] food security which obliges them to revert to coping mechanisms such as skipping meals, reducing food intake, selling animals and so on,” Ussama Osman, the World Food Programme (WFP) country director in Guinea-Bissau, told IRIN.