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Cashew value chain stakeholders build capacity in processing

May 28 , 2019

 

The initiative forms part of efforts to harness the potential of the African cashew industry and make it competitively better on the world market. Data indicate that Africa produces 50 per cent of the raw cashew nuts on the world market but only five per cent is processed. The five-day training exercise has been designed as a platform for the sector players to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt, as well as build national and regional networks for future collaboration.

 

Opening ceremony

 

At a brief ceremony to open the training, the Executive Director of the Competitive Cashew initiative, originators of the training programme, Ms Rita Weidinger, said the participants, including 36 women, had been identified as potential cashew ambassadors from various organisations in the participating countries. The Competitive Cashew initiative is a German government initiative which focuses on building a sustainable cashew value chain and increasing the competitiveness of African cashew production and processing. “This programme provides you with a unique opportunity to learn diverse perspectives and enlarge your professional network beyond the training. Make use of all the opportunities presented at your workplaces,” she told the participants. She commended Ghana for the strides made in improving cashew and other tree crops production. She also underscored the need for African countries to step up efforts to process the crops to better harness their financial potential for national development.

 

Cashew

 

In a speech read on his behalf, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr George Oduro, said cashew had a lot of potential for the development of the agricultural sector. He said although a relatively young sector that faced few challenges, cashew had proved to be highly lucrative, contributing about 53 per cent of non-traditional crop export earnings for Ghana in 2018. “It will be unwise to ignore that potential. This is part of what informed the setting up of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority (GTCDA), which is still on track to be passed into law this year,” he said. Mr Oduro said the capacity-building programme, from which Ghana was benefiting, would facilitate the work of the GTCDA and make it more impactful. He reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure the growth of the cashew industry and make it a priority crop in the country. “It is impossible to talk about the development of the agricultural sector without mentioning the cashew value chain.

 

The numerous financial, social and economic benefits of cashew production and processing to the producing countries are becoming more and more evident to the governments and sector actors of producing countries,” he said.

 

Cashew seedlings

 

A representative of the Association of Cashew Processors, Ghana, Ms Yayra Amedzro, expressed gratitude to the Cocoa Research Institute for ensuring that cashew farmers had access to certified cashew seedlings to enhance cultivation.

 

She said a lot of cashew cultivation was currently going on in Ghana under the Planting for Food and Export and Rural Development policy and underscored the need for Ghana’s processing ability to be enhanced for it to gain more value for the high potential crop.

 

“Value addition will result in more money in the national kitty and farmers’ pockets, which is critical to poverty alleviation,” she said.

 

Source:https://www.graphic.com.gh