Roll Out Interventions To Sustain Cashew Industry

Cashew PixThe Ghana Cashew Industry Association has called on the government to roll out policy interventions to sustain the industry since the prospects of the country’s cashew production are high.

“The nation could reap between $300 million and $400 million annually, if more attention is paid on increasing production and value-addition,” Winfred Osei Owusu, President of the Association, said.

He was speaking at the launch of the World Cashew Festival and Expo 2013 in Accra, themed: “Value Chain and Gains-Focusing on the Potential to Leverage Profit in Each Sector of the Cashew Industry and in New Markets.”

The event, expected to kick off from September 16 to 19, would be organised by the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), to assist players in the industry to develop the value-chain process.

It would also provide a platform for cashew farmers, processors, traders, exporters, service providers, retailers, equipment manufacturers, bankers and other stakeholders to fashion out innovative ways to improve and sustain the industry.

He said cashew, unlike cocoa and other cash crops, would yield more dividends for the nation, if given the needed encouragement and assistance by the government.

Currently, Ghana produces 65,000 metric tonnes of cashew annually, a significant contribution to the world’s production, but has the potential of increasing her cashew production up to 200,000 metric tonnes annually valued at about $400 million.

Mr. Owusu said the cashew industry had the capacity to create more than 2,000 jobs thereby complementing the government’s efforts of tackling unemployment.

He therefore called on the government to roll out the Cashew Development Project and also make funds available to cashew farmers through the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund to expand their operations.

Dr. Ahmed Alhassan Yakubu, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, expressed government’s determination to support the industry to thrive.

On the upcoming event, he said it would offer opportunities for farmers and other stakeholders to adopt means of sustaining the industry.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu, in a speech read on his behalf, advised stakeholders to ensure that cashew exported from the country meet international standards.

Roger Brou, Managing Director of ACA, said the festival would provide farmers the forum to explore innovative business prospects in the industry.

 

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