Ghana now West Africa’s hub for cashew expertise – ComCashew

Ghana has become a go-to for expertise in cashew throughout the West-African sub-region, Mrs. Juliana Ofori-Karikari, Manager, Finance and Administration of Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) has said.

She said while Ghana had attained that milestone in the cashew industry, Africa was also the current home of cashew, as the continent provides more than 50 per cent of global cashew production.

Mrs Ofori-Karikari was speaking at the opening of the second session of a Technical Upskilling Programme to reinforce the capacity and knowledge of Training Providers (TPs) on cashew in Sunyani.

The week-long programme was organised by German Development Cooperation (GIZ)/ComCashew in collaboration with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI)/Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (/ATVET) with support from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).

Participants selected from Agriculture Training Institutions in the country were 62 and the first session held in early February this year was participated by 71 TPs.

It was designed to equip them (participants) with knowledge on cashew to become certified TPs in their respective institutions to execute efficiently the task of passing on the right knowledge to potential trainees who enroll in such institutions.

In a broader sense, it was a knowledge sharing programme on technical topics related to the cashew value chain-from production through by-product processing to marketing and other sector related topics.

Furthermore, the programme was expected to provide a knowledge exchange platform for the TPs and also to enable them to build networks for potential future collaboration in the cashew sector.

Mrs Ofori-Karikari said Ghana’s achievement was made possible through the efforts of MoFA, supported by public and private stakeholders like GIZ/ComCashew.

She noted there was a high demand throughout the West African sub-region for plants that have higher productivity rates and mitigate against climate change effects to achieve the highest possible levels of sustainable production.

It was in that perspective that GIZ/ComCashew took pride in investing heavily in the human capacity development of value chain actors to multiply knowledge and skills in the cashew industry.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr. Seth Osei-Akoto the Director of Crop Services of MoFA stated Ghana’s emphasis on research and development on improved varieties for the cashew sector had brought Ghana to a productivity level of about 1000 kilogrammes per hectre.

This production rate, he added meant one of the highest in the Africa region, making Ghana a reference point for other cashew producing countries in the African continent.

Against this background, Mr. Osei-Akoto said government, recognising the impact the cashew sector was making on the economy of Ghana therefore formulated and was implementing policies such as Planting for Export and Rural Development Programme to ensure sustainable development.

He said with the passage of the Tree Crop Development Authority Act, government would introduce even more initiatives to make the sector more competitive for all stakeholders and the entire country.

Mr. Osei-Akoto stated those policies and programmes among others targeted the youth as it sought to create jobs for them as an encouraging factor to get involved in the agricultural sector.

Source: GNA

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