President Nana Akufo-Addo has launched a 10-year cashew development plan with a promise to give the country’s agric sector a further boost.
The President said this plan seeks to improve research methods, introduce appropriate production and processing technologies, as well as develop marketing strategies along the cashew production value chain.
The production of cashew in Ghana is currently around 55,000 tonnes per annum.
Speaking at the launch of the plan at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region, the President said the initiative will massively improve the livelihood of farmers in the country.
“I reiterated my commitment to assist in diversifying Ghanaian agriculture transforming among others cashew, into a major cash crop and foreign exchange earner for Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
He also noted the gains made in the first phase of his government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme, which led to an increase in the production of staples, as well as the creation of thousands of jobs in the rural economy.
President Akufo-Addo noted that this development has encouraged government to increase the scope of the programme.
“By all accounts, the first year of the program for Planting for Food and Jobs, which involved some 200,000 farmers has been successful,” he declared.
MMDAs to oversee seedling production
As part of the plan to boost the production of cashew, the Rural Development Department of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, will be spearheading the initial production of seedlings for the cultivation of cashew.
“Under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) project, all 216 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives have been given oversight responsibility for the production of not only cashew seedlings, but also for seedlings of oil palm, shea, cotton, rubber and coffee, for distribution to farmers from next year ,” the President outlined.
President Akufo-Addo expressed hope that this would be the first step in creating more jobs “in addition to an increase in yield.”
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority also commissioned a cashew mass spraying exercise, which involves the provision of GH¢1.6 million for the spraying of some 30,000 hectares of cashew plantations.