The Trade and Investment Promotion Support (TIPS) Project is a program of support for Guinea-Bissau funded by the United States Agency for International Development. The goal of the five-year project is to increase the level of broad-based, market-oriented economic growth by assisting Guineans to remove barriers to that growth and stimulate private-sector trade and investment.

TIPS has assisted the government and the private sector in identifying and implementing needed changes in national laws and policies which have restricted economic growth, helping them to work together better toward a more responsive system of government. The project has also provided support to a nascent judicial system, helping to establish national small claims courts and strengthen the independence of the upper level judiciary from political influence, providing a framework for the rule of law to replace a legacy of arbitrary legal decisions.

Procajú is the result of work by TIPS with the private sector. TIPS has always stressed the need to assist organizations and associations to achieve their targets, avoiding top-down, paternalistic "solutions" that collapse once the aid is gone. Using this philosophy, TIPS helped ANAG, National Association of Agricultural Producers (representing primarily small farmers), and AMAE, the National Association of Business Women (representing over 10,000 women), to establish the Quinhamel Training Center in 1994. The Center has introduced cottage-industry cashew processing to Guinea-Bissau, having trained more than 400 people in processing and business skills. It has also spawned the inauguration of five more training centers elsewhere in the country, using graduates of the Quinhamel Center to train the staff and teachers for these new operations.

Procajú is an association of cashew processors who graduated from the Center and are seeking to expand their markets.

For more information about Procajú, cashew processing technology or the TIPS Project, contact TIPS.

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