The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has for the past ten years, supported the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) with 11.8 billion cedis to cultivate cashew. ADRA supported 15,000 farmers from 405 communities to grow the crop, cultivating 19,313 acres.
Mr Samuel Asante-Mensah, Country Director of ADRA, said this at the first national ADRA Cashew Day at Kranka in the Nkoranza District in the Brong Ahafo Region yesterday. It was on the theme "Cashew cultivation; ADRA's way to sustainable food security".
Mr Asante-Mensah said the organisation had cultivated 11,708 acres in the Central Region, 100 acres in the Ashanti Region and 500 acres in Upper East and Upper West regions. Northern Region has cultivated 4,353 acres, Volta Region 1,060 acres and Greater Accra Region 515 acres.
Mr Alfred Osei, USAID official, said USAID had placed emphasis on cashew and other tree crops since they had a longer lifespan, yield larger incomes and protect the environment. "The tree crop is a good investment and I believe with proper management, farmers will move from subsistence farming to making this venture a worthwhile and rewarding business," he said.
Mr James Kwabena Appiah-Awuah, the District Chief Executive, said the assembly and other opinion leaders had acquired 45,000 acres of land to assist unemployed youth in the area to go into farming.
Nana Ofori Okofo Amisare VIII, Akwamuhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, expressed concern about the lack of markets for cashew and appealed to ADRA to link the farmers with market centres.