The Government's Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme has successfully established approximately 46,000 hectares of cashew plantation in the Bono Region since 2018.
Under the programme, cashew farmers have received free improved seedlings and guidance from Agriculture Extension Officers to adopt best agricultural practices for higher yields.
Mr Dennis Abugri Amenga, the Bono Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), made this known during the launch of the “Amplifying the Voices of Cashew Farmers (AVFC) Project” in Drobo, Jaman South Municipality.
The 15-month project, implemented by Cashew Watch Ghana (CWG) and funded by STAR Ghana Foundation, aims to mobilize and empower civil society organizations (CSOs) to address the challenges hindering the growth of the cashew industry.
The project seeks to advocate for actions that promote a vibrant cashew sector through transparency, accountability, and engagement with state actors.
Mr Amenga commended STAR Ghana Foundation for its support and emphasized the importance of collaboration between government, development partners, and CSOs in building a thriving cashew sector.
He also praised CWG for its advocacy efforts, acknowledging the significance of empowering farmers in the leading cashew-producing region to increase production.
In 2021, the Bono Region produced approximately 170,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts.
Mr Simon Asore, the Functional Steering Committee Chairman of CWG, highlighted the organization's mission to champion the cause of cashew farmers, particularly women in the sector.
The cashew value chain has the potential to create jobs and reduce poverty, underscoring the need for advocacy and support.
Cashew has been a top non-traditional export commodity in Ghana, contributing significantly to foreign exchange earnings. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, cashew exports generated US$128.70 million.
However, the lack of coordination among actors in the sector has led to smuggling and unauthorized buying at lower prices, impacting farmers' income.
Mr Andrews Bediako, the Jaman South Municipal Chief Executive, assured the farmers that the government is committed to creating a favourable policy environment for the cashew industry and urged them to maintain confidence in the ruling party.
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