? Farmers in the cashew industry have sent out an SOS message to the Ministry of Agriculture to quickly come to their aid to save the future of the industry that is beset with intractable problems in the country today.

wpid-cashew-nuts.jpgThis call was made by a group of cashew farmers who attended a three-day regional conference aimed at sorting out problems facing the industry at the Movenpic Hotel in order to streamline some knotty issues.

The farmers who came from different parts of the country lamented among other things over the poor pricing, lack of ready market, seeds, extension officers and disinterestedness on the part of government as part of problems the industry faces in Ghana.

According to them, they expect the central government to set up buying centre?s similar to that of COCOBOOD to ensure stable price and ready market for their produce so that they can be sure of stable income. This way, they can survive to get motivation and confidence to perpetuate their farming.

Some of the farmers who spoke to this paper said among other things that, cultivation of cashew is very scientific and technical through grafting method. The seeds are too complicated that, they need guidance and direction from the extension officers to help them cultivate. They contended that as? a result of government?s apathy, some farmers have started cutting down their cashew tree down to replace them with other cash crops that have ready markets and easy to cultivate.

What came out of this discussion was that cashew that was introduced in the early sixties by the first President Dr. Nkrumah caught on well with the farmers and saw extensive cultivation by them.

This is because cashew can do well in every part of the country apart from the Western Region of Ghana due to constant rainfall there. In fact cashew does well in the savannah region than in the South and Ghana stands to benefit from its economic value nationwide than even cocoa.

Most delegates were of the belief that cashew can give Ghana over three times income cocoa and gold are? giving us now if properly handled ,protected better and extensively cultivated. For instance last year; Ghana exported about 118,000 tons of cashew at GH?1000.00 per kilogram that gave the country GH?18,880,000 .00 export value by small number of farmers.

Again among other things, the crop is all weather and is produced all year round. Its labour is less cumbersome unlike cocoa that is so difficult to process throughout its production stages. Cashew can be processed into so many products like, drinks, medicine, creams, deodorants, toffees, food supplements, oils, lubricants etc. One acre of cashew can produce six times tonnage than the same acreage cocoa can produce and less labour and chemical intensive to maintain its farm. It does not rampantly get attacked by diseases and insects like cocoa.

So far on the average, Ghana exports about 55,000 tons per annum. The purchase is done by splinted middlemen who pay any price from GH?1000.00 to as low as GH?1.00 per kilogram. These middlemen don?t allow farmers to sell direct to buyers most of whom come from Asia, Europe and America. ?As we speak, there is high demand worldwide for cashew; in fact Ghana supplies about 1/20th of the demand but due to the scheming by some middlemen who do the buying and resell, we don?t get value for our produce. Because we can?t get access to these foreign buyers direct so that we can do a better bargain, so the government must step in?, the farmers postulated.

The farmers contended that, that is same reasons why the coffee industry has died and now some people are cutting down cocoa trees to mine gold because they are not being properly handled or helped by the government. ?We need help immediately.? The three-day conference brought down all the players and actors in the cashew industry across the globe: Farmers, Buyers, Exporters, Processors, Middlemen, and Financers in the industry.

An exhibition was held at the Movenpic Hotel to show case the machines, products and processes of the cashew industry by the organizers.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am a buyer seeking farmers who can provide about 30000 tonnes of cashew every month. There is ready market. Interested farmers should contact me on 0541405054

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