A Big Boost For Cashew Farmers

GHANA’S President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched a 10-year cashew development plan in Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region.

AT the event the President expressed his government’s determination to diversify agriculture by transforming, among other things, cashew into a major cash crop and foreign exchange earner.

THE aim of the cashew Development Plan (2017-2027) fashioned by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GERA), in collaboration with the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana (CIAG), is to expand the present production of raw cashew nuts (RCN) from 70,000 tonnes (MT) to 300,000 tonnes by 2017.

CURRENTLY, cashew is the country’s leading agricultural non-traditional export, accounting for 197 million United States dollars of revenue in 2016.

FOR us at Today, the 10-year cashew development plan represents a big boost for the cashew industry, especially when one of the objectives of the plan is to promote the production and marketing of cashew by-product and also promote competitiveness of the entire cashew value chain.

THE plan is not only part of our efforts to diversify agricultural products, but more importantly, serves as an incentive to cashew farmers to expand production.

IN addition, the plan has the advantage of creating employment within the cashew industry, particularly in regions where we have cashew farmers.

THE argument has always been finding innovative ways of diversifying agriculture, which is and will continue to be the mainstay of Ghana’s economy.

WE have often lost out by many of our agricultural products in their raw state to foreign countries.

BUT the fact remains that we can boost our economy by diversifying agriculture.

THAT also means turning some of our exportable agriculture products into finished products before exporting them.

IN that way, monies that will come to us from the export of such products will be huge enough to enable us finance the country’s capital and recurrent expenditure.

IT is a laudable project and all the stakeholders must support to ensure that it succeeds.

THE success of this plan will only not inure to the benefit of farmers, but equally to the country as a whole.