KONA Agro Processing Limited, the largest cashew processor in the Brong-Ahafo Region, has been forced to shut down operations due to financial difficulties.
The company, which employed 250 workers, many of them women, used to process about 1,500 metric tons of raw cashew annually for export.
Mr. Kwabena Taylor, its Director, said it needed US$1.5 million to get back into business.
He announced this when the Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah toured the plant at Awisa in the Wenchi Municipality as part of his three-day working visit to the region.
Mr. Taylor said several attempts to access credit from the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF) – to provide it with financial lifeline, had been unsuccessful.
They were therefore left was no option but to close down and send the workers home, he added.
The Minister suggested to the management of the company to go into equity partnership to raise funds to revive its operations.
He earlier interacted with cashew growers and buyers and said the government was putting in place interventions to grow the cashew industry and boost returns.
He told them that the temporary ban on export of the raw commodity was meant to create a favorable market for growers and hinted of fixing a standardized local price for it.
Dr. Spio-Garbrah revealed that he had been into the cashew business for about 17 years and encouraged the youth to take to cashew farming because it was rewarding.
He separately inspected small scale businesses being supported by the Rural Enterprises Project (REP) of his ministry.