Highway users between Abidjan (the economic capital) and Yamoussoukro (political capital) can spot the imposing industrial complex not far from Toumodi. With more than 20,000 tonnes at the start of its activities in June, the processing capacity of the Dorado Ivory plant (a subsidiary of the Royal Nuts PTE Ltd group based in Singapore) will be increased to 50,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts per year when will reach cruising speed in a short time. The Rajkumar family have gone to great lengths to achieve this. The father and his 2 sons invested 10 billion CFA francs in the construction of the complex, which spans 12 hectares, and to equip it with state-of-the-art equipment. The work is almost 95% automated.
This heavy investment reflects the confidence of Singaporean businessmen in the Ivory Coast. “For us, the Ivory Coast is an oasis. This is where we found what we are looking for in the world. We have come to stay, ”said Venkatesan Rajkumar, chairman of the board.
With its 2 storage warehouses (one of 20,000 tonnes and the other under construction of 10,000 tonnes), Dorado can boast of being the largest cashew processing unit in the country, and in the world when its processing unit for hulls will go into production to provide electricity. More than a place of work, it is a city equipped with a crèche, place of prayer, infirmary, restaurant, dormitories, training center and 5 very high power generators to allow the installations to continue to operate in the event of power failure.
Currently, 300 young men and women recruited from the surrounding villages go there every day to work. This number will increase when the plant is at full production capacity. “We are happy that the Rajkumar family has placed their trust in the Ivory Coast by installing this ultramodern and integrated factory in Toumodi”, showed his satisfaction, Wednesday July 28, the Director General of the Cotton and Cotton Council. cashew nut (CCA), Adama Coulibaly, who was visiting the facilities.
The city of Agnibilékrou, in the east of the country, was to host the Dorado Ivory factory in 2018. Venkatesan Rajkumar had to relocate his megaproject due to an administrative blockage linked to the land on which to build it. Wanting to do it in Ivory Coast at all costs, he met Marc Hodonou. This young Ivorian will help the businessman find a plot in Toumodi, his hometown, 50 kilometers from Yamoussoukro. Less than 2 years later, the result is there: an ultramodern complex has emerged from the ground. It is in addition to the industrial units already in operation, including the OLAM factory in Anyama (formerly UNICAFÉ), which received a visit from the boss of the cashew sector on Friday, July 30. Here too, Adama Coulibaly touched on the immense work that is being done to accelerate the processing of raw cashew nuts on Ivorian soil.
The OLAM plant in Anyama processes 15,000 tonnes per year and employs 750 people. By adding its units located in two other towns (Bouaké and Dimbokro), the group further consolidates its pioneering status in the almond production sector in the Ivory Coast. “These 3 factories together have a processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts per year,” said Adama Coulibaly. OLAM intends to double this volume by 2025, according to Konaté Issa (purchasing director).
With a cumulative capacity of 100,000 tonnes, Dorado and OLAM process the entire production of a country like Ghana estimated at 70,000 tonnes of raw nuts per year, while