Government prepared to support 100 Districts in cashew production – Minister

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Mon, 28 May 2018 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has hinted that government is prepared to invest in cashew farming in the country with a well-laid out plan in place to improve the lives of Ghanaians with a focus on providing jobs and increasing export revenue.

According to Kennedy Osei Nyarko in spite of the numerous financial, social and economic benefits, there is an increasing challenge affecting cashew production due to climate change in some regions of the country which needs attention.

“With the increasing challenges due to climate change, it is of crucial importance for Ghana to develop sustainable strategies for mitigation. Thus, up to 100 Districts in Ghana especially in the savannah regions, an area that is particularly vulnerable to the effect of climate change, have been identified as suitable for future cashew cultivation,” he noted.

It is in this regard he said the president is on track to create an independent economy and in effect working around the clock to ensure the Cashew sector thrives in the production of the cash crop.

Speaking at the 1st session of the 6th edition of the Master Training Program for Cashew Value Chain Promotion, the Minister indicated government is working relentlessly towards putting measures in place to sustain the Ghanaian cashew sector.

He noted that the Ministry with support from government is developing instruments to mitigate the challenges hampering revenue generation in the local economy especially in the savannah regions.

“The government, on its part is actively putting in measures to increase production of this crop and encouraging local processing. I wish to assure you that government on its part is prepared to do what is possible to support growth and development of the sector and to ensure the country can reap maximum benefits of cashew value chain,” said Mr Nyarko.

“In line with this goal of increasing local production, the government is currently working on the establishment of more nurseries to ensure the availability of good planting materials to cashew farmers across the country.”

The Member of Parliament for Akim Swedru also stated that looking at the huge prospects in cashew cultivation, “it is essential that the capabilities of the sector actors are built” especially in research fields to lead to increase in yields, diversified exports and provide the much-needed jobs available for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

The Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew)

The Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) focuses on building a sustainable cashew value chain and on increasing the competitiveness of African cashew production and processing. It constitutes a new era of multi-stakeholder partnership in development cooperation.

The 6th edition provides a platform for 83 participants from 10 countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build national and regional networks for future collaboration.

Since its inception in 2009, around 440,000 new jobs have been created in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique – 75 percent in production, 20 per cent in trade and 5 per cent in processing.

In Ghana, the initiative has trained more than 40,000 farmers and has created over 46,500 jobs in production and processing. In the area of processing, the project has given technical support and assistance to 7 processors.

It is funded in its third phase by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develop-ment (BMZ).

Donors including public and private institutions work hand in hand to achieve poverty reduction in ComCashew’s countries of intervention.

The aim of the project is to bring about sustainable growth using the value chain approach in African countries, to help reduce poverty, and to improve nutrition among a growing number of smallholder farmer households.

ComCashew’s objective is to increase and consolidate the competitiveness of the cashew value chain and its contribution to poverty reduction.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com