Mr George Oduro, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture said government collaboration with the Brazilian Embassy through the trilateral cooperation led to the distribution of over 150,000 cashew grafts to farmers across the country.
The collaboration also led to the establishment of scion banks and the establishment of cashew trial plots to improve the development of cashew in the country.
This was in a speech read on behalf of the Deputy Minister on Monday at the opening of the first session of the Ninth Edition of the Master Training Programme on Cashew Value Chain Promotion jointly organised by ComCashew and African Cashew Alliance.
The one-week programme is to increase theoretical knowledge and practical skills of African cashew experts along the value chain and further promote the competitiveness of African cashew.
The training programme brought together 91 cashew experts from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal, Madagascar, and Zambia to share knowledge, discuss best practices and build national and regional networks for future collaboration.
The programme is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.
The Deputy Minister said government would continue to prioritise cashew because of its potential for the development of the agricultural sector.
“Cashew has proven to be highly lucrative, providing about 53 per cent of non-traditional crop export for Ghana in 2018”,he added.
He said the cashew industry informed government to set up the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority, which was to be passed into bill this year.
Mr Oduro said the training programme would help develop the expertise to make the work of Authority relevant and impactful.
He said with collaboration between stakeholders, the country would be on the right path to stregthening the Ghanaian cashew sector.
Ms Rita Weidinger, the Executive Director of ComCashew said since the inception of the programme in 2013, 456 experts from 15 countries had become change agents in their organisations and in their countries.
She said the programme would focus on improved planting material development, establishment of new plantations and design of adult training programme among others.
She stressed that participants would be introduced to monitoring and evaluation, gender and cashew value chain promotion, adding that at each session, ‘there is a combination of topics on self-reflection and perception management and on behaviours and values that affect learning and teaching skills.
Participants would learn about all aspects of the cashew value chain from production and processing of raw cashew nuts, to economics, cashew market dynamics, marketing and financing mechanisms.
The highlight of the programme would be a field visit to the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana research station and farm visits to the cashew production areas in the country.