Many years ago, three students from this country studied at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and decided after graduation to begin an agricultural business which would contribute to their home country. They evaluated the conditions of their region and determined that cashews would be the ideal crop given that the climate and other parameters were perfect for cashew cultivation. After an expanded feasibility study and practical input from an almond tree expert on choosing varieties and pruning techniques, the orchard was planted in 2000. The three WUR students and their countrymen are at the helm of the company, which provides employment opportunities to those in the region.
The orchard has continued to perform well over the years. At this point only one of the original WUR students still works there, and the orchard employs many from the community. In addition to growing cashews, the orchard has expanded and now also does intercropping with cassava, which produces very high yields.
The impact of this project on the region has been significant. The cashew orchard created employment opportunities for many, allowing children in some families to return to school as their family has gained financial stability. The social influence has also been beautiful to witness, as Muslims and Christians work together in harmony and form friendships.