This report presents the details of a case study exploring livelihood patterns of farmer households and linkages with the production and marketing of cashew nuts on the island of Flores. It aimed to understand and identify livelihood constraints in order to fully understand and monitor the impact of a Swisscontact/VECO-Indonesia pilot project on certification and processing of organic cashew nuts in Flores. The study used the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (developed by DFID) to analyse complex livelihood patterns in four villages in Central and Eastern Flores. The study revealed that the livelihood strategies of farmers in the target areas were highly diverse and led to different levels of vulnerability, largely caused by 'seasonal stress'—a term referring to periods of low income and food availability. Furthermore, cashew nuts were found to be the most important source of income for between 25-70 per cent of households in the surveyed villages, showing strong linkages between production and marketing of cashew nuts and farmer livelihoods. The report concludes with a set of recommendations in relation to livelihoods, marketing and the pilot project on certification of organic cashew nuts.

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