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  • GEPA and partners sign MoU on National Cashew Development Plan

    May 25th, 2017

    The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana and BLC consult. The MoU will facilitate the development and implementation of a 10-year National Cashew Development Plan, to regulate the value chain of the Cashew Industry. The Plan aims at regulating, formalising and providing strategic investment to revamp the cashew industry, increase production and productivity along the value chain and ultimately regulate the industry.Among the key objectives of the 10-Year National Cashew Development Plan (2017-2027) are to support research and development to improve inputs and technology from the farm to export. It will also expand production of raw cashew nuts from 55,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes, and increase processing capacity from 57,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes.

    Others are to promote the production and marketing of cashew by-products and local consumption of roasted cashew products, support capacity building in the value chain to improve efficiency at all levels, stimulate competitiveness of the value chain, and create more than 200,000 employment annually. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms Gifty Kekeli Klenam, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, said the signing of the MoU was a demonstration of the Authority’s commitment to promote cashew in the export of non-traditional commodities as one of its key priority initiatives. She said the development was anchored on the broad vision of transforming GEPA into a dynamic World-Class trade promotion organisation, playing a lead role in developing a dominant and sustained market position for non-traditional exports.Ms Klenam said the Development Plan was unique because it would be a Public-Private-Partnership led and has the involvement of Fund Managers with professional expertise in credit evaluation, monitoring and recovery of credits extended to support research and Development, farmers, processors and all the actors in the entire value chain.

    “The structural re-organisation, the involvement of Fund Managers, putting in place a regulatory framework to develop the industry should provide confidence to our development partners and non-governmental organisations to support this ambitious framework of action,” she said. To achieve these objectives, Ms Klenam said GEPA would collaborate with the Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Trade and Industry to set up the National Cashew Development Board and a Cashew Development Fund.

    The CEO said to sustain the programme after the 10 years, GEPA shall introduce a levy on the export of raw cashew nuts in line with international standards and a common practice in all cashew producing countries in West Africa. Ms Klenam said GEPA would provide strategic leadership, investment opportunity, regulation to develop the cashew industry and learn from best practices and well-developed cashew industries in Africa to promote competitiveness in Ghana’s cashew industry. She commended partners, consultants and key stakeholders involved in the re-organisation of the cashew industry and urged strategic partners, including Bank of Ghana, Exim Bank, African Development Bank and African Cashew Alliance to support the development initiative of promoting non-traditional exports for sustained economic development.

    The President of the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana, Mr Winfred Osei Owusu said the prospects for cashew production were huge with global demand growing at 10 per cent annually. Currently, global supplies is about three million tonnes and additional 300,000 tonnes is required annually to meet the demand, translating into about $ 500 million Mr Owusu said cashew had over the years become the leading non-traditional export earner in the agriculture sub-sector and has the potential of rural transformation and job creation for women and the youth. He said in the past five years cashew had been able to attract 11 processing companies to the Brong-Ahafo Region and urged government to look at the crop because of its transformative potential for the rural economy.

    Mr Owusu called for government support to support the players in the sector to up production capacity from current 50,000mt to about 200,000mt in the next five to 10 years. Stakeholders from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, African Cashew Alliance and Exim Bank pledged their support to the plan.