Bush fire threat to cashew cultivation – CIAG

Fire Them Bush fires can destroy large acres of cashew farms within few minutes

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 Source: accrafm.com

Executive Secretary of the Cashew Industries Association of Ghana (CIAG), Elorm Akyea, has identified bush fire as a threat to the survival of cashew farming in the country.

According to him, bush fires can destroy large acres of cashew farms within few minutes, and so local farmers are being educated on the need to halt bush fires.

He also indicated that the inability of local processors to acquire modern equipment for the processing of the nuts is also threatening the sector.

"At the moment, only two processors which are foreign owned are in operation. The remaining eleven that belong to local investors have all collapsed,' he said.

His comments come after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 launched the 10-year development plan for the cashew sector.

According to the president, cashew, together with other selected crops, can create wealth and jobs for Ghanaians.

Mr Akufo-Addo, said: “This, together with other programmes of other selected export crops, will drive industrialisation in rural Ghana, diversify agricultural products and provide the needed jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth of this country”.

The plan will take into account government support for the country’s cashew industry and the required infrastructure for the sector.

Mr Akufo-Addo urged industry players to capitalise on the opportunities in the value chain of the crop and make it beneficial to farmers.

“I will urge the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to incorporate in this plan policies and interventions that will create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport and packaging of cashew, which will ensure that our cashew farmers earn higher income,” the president said.

It also seeks to improve research methods, introduce appropriate production and processing technologies as well as develop marketing strategies along the value chain.

Speaking on this development in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson host of the Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Wednesday, 21 February 2018, Mr Akyea said: “The lack of proper planting materials is a problem, bush fire is a problem, lack of money for the farmers to work with is a challenge. The banks are not giving loans because the sector is a high risk area. Thieves are also stealing nuts.”

He added: “We have about 13 processors in this country but all the processors have not been functioning for the past two years and we don’t know when they'll work. All the 13 have collapsed apart from two which are foreign.”

Source: accrafm.com
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