Ghana’s cashew export earnings in 2020 fetched the nation US$340.7 million, with an estimated untapped potential of more than US$660 million.
Mr Raphael Ahenu, the National Convener of Cashew Watch Ghana, said the cashew sector had huge potentials and prospects to transform the economy and called on the Government to prioritise the development of the industry.
He made the call at the launch of the “Amplifying the Voices of Cashew Farmers (AVFC)” project at Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region.
The AVFC is a 15-month project being implemented by the Cashew Watch Ghana, with funding support from STAR Ghana Foundation.
It is to help empower cashew farmers to grow more by advocating better prices as well as removing bottlenecks in the growth and development of the sector.
There was the need for the Government to capitalise on the global prospects of the economic tree and put pragmatic measures in place to transform the cashew industry as a vehicle for socio-economic development, Mr Ahenu said.
“Ghana’s estimated annual production of between 110,000 and 130,000 tons of raw cashew nuts is not encouraging,” he said, and that more must be done for the industry to contribute significantly to economic growth, particularly in job creation and poverty reduction.
Mr Ahenu appealed to the Government to increase technical and financial support for the Tree Crop Development Authority to effectively implement the 10-year National Cashew Development Plan.
Mr Victor Yao-Dablu, the Jaman North District Director of Agriculture, said cashew production in the area was encouraging and urged the Government to supply farmers with processors to add value to the nuts.
He commended STAR Ghana Foundation for funding the project and expressed the hope that its implementation would help fetch the farmers good price for their labour.
Cashew Watch Ghana is a civil society platform comprising cashew farmers, non-governmental organisations, media and local processors.
The Global cashew market size is projected to hit a value of US$10.5 billion by 2031, the CWG said.
Currently, the global market size is hovering around US$7 billion.