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Can the poor influence policy? Lessons from the cashew nut revitalization campaign in Kenya coast

Research reports

Cashew is among the oldest cash crops in Kenya; introduced into East Africa by the Portuguese during the Sixteenth Century. Although cashew contributes with only 1% of Kenya's total agricultural production, it is an important crop because it is grown in an area with few other alternatives. During the peak period of the cashew industry (1980s), it was a major export earner contributing with 4% of GDP. However, mismanagement and privatization of the Kenya Cashewnut Limited in 1993 and its eventual closure in 1998 had a devastating effect on farmers whose livelihood had depended on it for years. The cashew campaign sought to draw farmers and policymaker's interest in the cashew trees, hitherto neglected.

Elphas Ojiambo