There is a growing ‘trade tussle’ between cashew farmers and buyers over pricing of raw cashew nuts across cashew production communities in the country.
The impasse is as a result of disagreement over the price of the fruit for the 2020 purchasing season.
The Ghanaian Times had gathered from cashew growing areas in Bono and Bono East regions that the farmers resolved to sell a tonne of cashew nuts nothing less than GH¢800.00, while buyers had pegged the price of the same quantity at GH¢700.
Leadership of the Ghana National Cashew Farmers Association, had, therefore indicated that they (farmers) would not sell the nuts if the buyers fail to meet their demand.
The president of the association, Nana Adu Boaponsem XI, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, attributed what he termed “perennial price disparity” to lack of regulation in the cashew sub-sector.
He said the buyers had “cheated” farmers for far too long, hence the decision to demand fair price this season.
“Over the years, the buyers do not consult farmers before they arrive at a price. Factors such as high inputs cost, high interest rate, exchange rate and prevailing world market price is the reason we want price increase,” Nana Boaponsem explained.
He appealed to government to ensure that operators in the cashew value chain enjoyed equitable benefits from their activities.
The secretary of the association, Clement Anane, advised farmers to dry the nuts below 12 per cent moisture content, before trading off.
This, he noted, would give them the bargaining power without recourse to buyers’ reservation such as high moisture content.
Mr Anane called on authorities to prevent the influx of cashew nuts from neigbouring La Cote d’Ivoire, to protect Ghana’s premium quality, adding that the influx turned out to influence pricing of the nuts in Ghana.
The general secretary of Cashew Buyers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Alhaji Justice Mahama Ansomah, told the Ghanaian Times that the buyers were willing to purchase the nuts at a compromised price.
He said: “We are ever ready to sit down with the farmers to have better understand of their grievances, likewise we’ll put before them our challenges and business risks. We’ll never cheat the farmers.”
He stated that the inflow of cashew nuts from other countries had nothing to do with pricing in Ghana, adding that cashew seasons vary from country to country and “there’s no way inflows from another can influence Ghanaian price.”
Alhaji Ansomah urged the cashew farmers to increase production to enjoy economics of scale, saying most Ghanaian farmers were into small-scale production and that could not give them the expected revenue.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, WENCHI