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  • 10-year master-plan targets 150,000MT of cashew

    Jan 20th, 2016

    A 10-year cashew sector master-plan aimed at increasing production from 50,000 metric tonnes to 150,000 metric tonnes per annum by 2025 is being discussed by government and private sector stakeholders.The plan’s aim to increase the utilisation of installed processing capacity of 65,000 metric tonnes from 5% to 75% by 2025 is being discussed.The sector currently has 14 processing factories within the country with a processing capacity of 60,000mt, while the country produces 50,000mt of raw nuts.The deficit, among other challenges, stakeholder say calls for an effective dialogue between the government of Ghana and agencies responsible for implementing policies that will help promote the sector.Worldwide demand for cashew is increasing at around 5% annually, and Fatima Alimohamed, the Agriculture Sector’s Vice Chairperson at the Association of Ghana Industries, says Ghana cannot afford not to take advantage of this opportunity.

    Speaking at the first-ever National Cashew Dialogue in Accra, she said: “In short, Africa and more so Ghana needs to double its overall production to meet future needs of its population. Our focus needs to be on emerging crops other than Cocoa, and to help quench that thirst the country needs to get into the race immediately”.Organised by the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana under the theme ‘Revitalising the Cashew Sector: An opportunity neglected by the nation’, the forum discussed what needs to be done to get the sector on the right footing.The workshop was aimed at establishing a sector working group for the development, implementation and monitoring of national activities toward achieving a joint sector vision shared by public and private actors.The cashew sector is seen to be one of the most promising economic boosters for Ghana, as it is said to be capable of generating between US$400 and US$500million revenue for the country.Fatima Alimohamed lamented the lack of a dedicated budget for the cashew sector, even though it is critical for sustainable development and poverty reduction.In spite of the disproportionately lower share of investment in the sector from government, the sector still holds much promise and potential, she added.With enough investment and policies, the country can rival Brazil, India and Vietnam as a premier exporter of processed nuts, she said, calling for change as soon as possible.“It is vital that cashew producers have a voice in determining policies that affect their own lives on fundamental issues. They bring a wealth of knowledge, understanding of local context and diversity of ideas.”