GHANA – The government of Ghana under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme is supporting the development and distribution of about five million improved cashew planting seedlings to farmers this year.
Mr. Seth Osei-Akoto, the Director of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), who announced this said “with a GAP adoption rate of 74 percent and a productivity rate of 1,500 kilogramme per hectare credited to the use of improved planting materials, Ghana is steadily moving towards a more competitive cashew value chain”.
He was speaking at the opening of Technical Upskilling Development Training Programme on Cashew Value Chain Promotion in Sunyani
The five-day programme was organised by the Competitive Cashew Initiative (ComCashew)/ German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative/Agriculture Technical Vocational Education Training (GSDI/ATVET) with support from the MoFA.
The goal was to help equip the first batch of 72 participants out of 135 Training Providers (TPs) from the country’s Agricultural Training Institutes (ATIs) with requisite knowledge on cashew to ensure that “the right knowledge is passed on to potential trainees that are enroll in the institutions”.
The second session of the training would be held in March for a second group of 63 TPs.
The training is expected to provide a knowledge exchange platform for the TPs, while enabling them to build networks for potential future collaborations in the sector.
Upon the completion of the programme, the TPs would be recognised as technical persons with adequate knowledge on cashew to deliver training in the various ATIs.
While addressing the participants, Mr Osei-Akoto noted that Ghana earned US$378 million from the sale of 110 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2018.
The amount according to MoFA, represented 43 per cent of the total revenue obtained from non-traditional export commodities in the country.
Cashew’s strong performance last year resulted from several factors: increased demand from Vietnam, increased yield of quality nuts to meet growing demand, reduced cost of credit and streamlined mechanisms to facilitate approvals and disbursements of credit facilities.
The next biggest agricultural NTE earner was banana whose revenues grew by 120 percent in 2018 to U$85.544 million, accounting for 3.04 percent of total NTEs.
This sharp increase was due to an increase in the number of exporters, growth in sales of already existing exporters as well as the appreciation of the Euro, the currency in which most banana 0065port sales are denominated, against the US dollar.