Cashew Watch Ghana galvanizes more support for cashew industry

General News Cashew Watch Ghana galvanizes more support for cashew industry

Cashew Watch Ghana, a platform of cashew farmers, media practitioners and non-governmental organizations, has held a media engagement with cashew farmers and key stakeholders in Sunyani to deliberate on concrete actions needed to revolutionize the cashew industry for the overall benefit of the country.

The engagement session formed part of the Amplifying the Voices of Cashew Farmers (AVCF) project, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of cashew farmers to influence policy, promote transparency and accountability in the cashew value chain, among others.

Speaking at the event, the National Convener of Cashew Watch Ghana, Raphael Godlove Ahenu, noted that the cashew industry has the potential to put Ghana’s economy on track if the government and other key stakeholders inject the necessary resources it requires.

He was worried that out of over $8 billion global value price of cashew in 2022, Ghana’s share price was just around 300 million dollars.

He said the sector has grown into one that contributes significantly to economic growth, particularly in job creation and poverty reduction.

“Around 300,000 farmers are directly engaged in cashew cultivation. According to the statistics by African Cashew Alliance, over 800, 000 people are directly and indirectly employed across the cashew supply chain, including farmers, factory workers, buyers, and exporters of the commodity in Ghana. With an estimated annual production of between 110, 000 and 130, 000 tons of raw cashew nuts (RCNs), about 85% of which are exported, cashew has for the past five years been one of the top non-traditional export commodities in Ghana”, he indicated.

Referring to data from the Bank of Ghana, Mr. Ahenu, who is also the Chief Executive the country earned 128.70 million dollars from cashew nuts exports in the first quarter of 2021.

Supply chain linkages
Mr. Ahenu said although there had been some industry actors like the Ghana Cashew Traders and Exporters Association, farmer associations and as recent as 2016, the Association of Cashew Processors Ghana (ACPG), the sector still lacks proper organisation and adequate supply chain linkages especially among cashew smallholder farmers.

“However, the lack of proper coordination among the various actor associations meant that these associations sometimes pushed the interests of their members and not the sector in its entirety. This also resulted in illegal activities like the smuggling of nuts to and fro neighboring countries and gave way for unauthorized buyers and exporters to buy directly at the farm gate at lower prices and without allowing proper drying to be done by farmers. All these contributed to the price volatility of cashew and resulted in the low level of local processing in Ghana”, he further stated.

He also called for a fair pricing regime for cashew farmers and more investments in technology in cashew farming.

The Bono Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Dennis Abugri Amenga, acknowledged the contributions of Cashew Watch Ghana in influencing policy frameworks with regards to the cashew sector.

He said the Bono region is one of the leading producers of cashew in Ghana as it creates thousands of employment opportunities to a lot of people in the value chain.

Cashew Watch Ghana
Cashew Watch Ghana works in synergy to advocate, sensitize and respond issues that militate against cashew development.

The rationale behind the formation of the network was to bring together advocates in the cashew sector to advocate and promote the livelihood of cashew farmers especially cashew women farmers in Ghana.

Richard Kofi Boahen
Richard Kofi Boahen

Bono, Bono East and Ahafo CorrespondentPage: RichardBoahen

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