Ghana Hosts Master Training Programme on Cashew Value Chain Promotion
The Ghana Master Training is the 8th in the series to building capacity in the African cashew industry
As part of an effort to help address the skills gap that has been a challenge in the cashew industry in Africa over the years, the 8th edition of the master Training programme on cashew value chain promotion has opened in Ghana.
The programme is to increase theoretical knowledge and help enhance practical skills of African cashew experts to further promote the competitiveness of cashew in Africa.
The president of the Association of Cashew Processors Ghana (ACPG), Mr. Malvin Nii Ayi Bonte Smith in an address said the decline in the price of raw cashew has affected the gains in the cashew sector.
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to provide the right skills to farmers to help them excel in the sector to help solve the issue of price volatility.
“Our farmers in Ghana, if not in Africa have suffered about 46% decline in the price of Raw Cashew Nut. A ton of Raw Cashew Nut at the farm gate is now being sold at 570 US dollars as against 1,050 US dollars at the beginning of the season.
The situation if it persists has the tendency of derailing the gains made over the years in the production sector of the cashew value chain”, he declared.
He, therefore, indicated that a strong and competitive processing sector in Africa is the key to solving the issue of raw cashew nut price volatility.
The assistance manager of African Cashew Alliance (ACA), Food Safety and Technology, Madam Dorcas Amoh said that despite the comparably small proportion of cashew produced in Africa and processed locally in Ghana, wealth and employment are generated especially when raw cashew nuts are processed.
“In fact processing raw cashew nuts adds about 35% value to the commodity. It is, therefore, our aim, as the African Cashew Alliance to represent and advocate for the growth of the private cashew sector in Africa”, she added.
She also observed the need for able experts who could consult for cashew businesses to tackle the challenges of the market indicating that participants of the programme should not only acquire the knowledge to improve themselves but should endeavour to impact the cashew sector as well.
The Executive Director of ComCashew, Rita Weidinger, also underscored the importance of the training programme.
“This training programme is very important in the cashew sector in Africa and this has been evident by the number of experts that have passed through. The impact of this prestigious programme is also evident in the various cashew sectors of participants’ countries”, she noted.
She, however, emphasized that good policies from government especially with the idea of establishing the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority would go a long way to boost investment in the sector.
Madam Weidinger further commended the Swiss state secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), for funding support, other partners such as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for their continuous cooperation to ensure that the sector becomes more competitive and successful.
According to her, 456 experts along the cashew value chain have been trained of whom 27% are women.
The 8th edition of the programme which was held at Peduase in Aburi brought together 80 participants from 10 countries. They include Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, and Cote d’Ivoire. The rest are Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Madagascar.