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Ghana News

Cashew Ghana is supported by the Star Ghana Foundation to help growers

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A grant of GH348,561.00 from the Star Ghana Foundation has been awarded to Cashew Watch Ghana, a civil society organization, in order to develop and improve the skills of cashew growers in the Bono Region.

This will make it possible for farmers to actively engage in the creation and implementation of policy for the cashew sector.

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The organisation would organise and develop cashew farmer cooperatives and boost their participation and engagement in policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring in the country’s cashew sector as part of its initiative, “Amplifying the Voices of Cashew Farmers (AVCF)”.

The 14-month project aims to empower roughly 1,500 cashew growers to work with the government and other stakeholders to shape the sector’s policies.

This information was provided to the Ghana News Agency in an interview with Mr. Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the National Convener of Cashew Watch Ghana, on Wednesday in Sunyani.

By ensuring that political parties have a clear strategy for the cashew industrial sector in their political party manifestos, he added, “the project will also make a case for cashew to be prioritised in the Election 2024.”

The Tain and Jaman North Districts, as well as the local government of Jaman South, are the project’s implementation regions.

Mr. Ahenu added that the cashew industry was quickly rising to the top of the list of Ghana’s agricultural industries, making a substantial contribution to the country’s economic expansion and generating more employment opportunities for young people to help them escape poverty.

More than 800,000 individuals across the cashew supply chain, including farmers, factory employees, buyers, processors, and exporters, have direct and indirect employment thanks to this industry, Mr. Ahenu continued.

Between 110,000 and 130,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts were produced annually in this industry, with roughly 85% going to export.

According to Mr. Ahenu, cashew has remained one of Ghana’s top five non-traditional export commodities for the previous five years. According to figures from the Bank of Ghana, the nation made US$128.70 million from exports in the first quarter of 2021.

“Despite the existence of numerous actor associations, including the Association of Cashew Processors Ghana (ACPG), farmer associations, and the Ghana Cashew Traders and Exporters Association, the sector still lacks proper organisation and adequate supply chain linkages, particularly among cashew smallholder farmers,” he claimed.

He pointed out that because there was a lack of coordination among the numerous actor organisations, these groups occasionally promoted the interests of their individual members rather than the broader industry.

Due to the poor degree of local processing in Ghana, this has led to criminal activities like the smuggling of nuts to the nearby La Cote d’Ivoir, which has also contributed to the instability of cashew prices.

The chairman of the CWG’s Functional Steering Committee, Mr. Simon Asore, emphasised the importance of mobilizing, empowering, and strengthening associations of cashew farmers so that they may participate in activities that affect them.

He claimed that doing this will enable farmers of cashews deal with their difficulties in a more proactive way.

The project aims to empower cashew farmers in these locations because many of them lacked the capability, resources, agency, and skills to impact decisions that would affect their livelihoods, he continued.

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