GHANA – Ghana has the potential of fetching up to US$660 million from cashew export earnings if the government capitalizes on the global prospects of the economic tree and prioritizes the development of the industry.
Mr Raphael Ahenu, the National Convener of Cashew Watch Ghana made the call at the launch of the “Amplifying the Voices of Cashew Farmers (AVFC)” project at Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region.
According to him, the government should put pragmatic measures in place to transform the cashew industry as a vehicle for socio-economic development.
Ghana’s cashew export earnings in 2020 fetched the nation US$340.7 million, however, Ahenu said that the cashew sector had huge potential and prospects to transform the economy and called on the Government to prioritize the development of the industry.
The call comes at a time when the global market size for the nut crop is around US$7 billion and is projected to hit a value of US$10.5 billion by 2031 according to CWG Markets.
“Ghana’s estimated annual production of between 110,000 and 130,000 tons of raw cashew nuts is not encouraging,” he said, adding that more must be done for the industry to contribute significantly to economic growth, particularly in job creation and poverty reduction.
Mr. Ahenu, therefore, appealed to the Government to increase technical and financial support for the Tree Crop Development Authority to implement the 10-year National Cashew Development Plan effectively.
On his part, Mr. Victor Yao-Dablu, the Jaman North District Director of Agriculture, said cashew production in the area was encouraging and urged the Government to supply farmers with processors to add value to the nuts.
The AVFC is a 15-month project being implemented by Cashew Watch Ghana, a civil society platform comprising cashew farmers, non-governmental organizations, media, and local processors, with funding support from STAR Ghana Foundation.
The project aims to help and empower cashew farmers to grow more by advocating better prices as well as removing bottlenecks in the growth and development of the sector.
Mr. Victor Yao-Dablu commended STAR Ghana Foundation for funding the project and expressed the hope that its implementation would help fetch the farmers a good price for their labor.