Cashew farmers in the country have been urged to process raw cashew products into a finished produce before exporting them to other foreign countries.
According to the CEO of Nimdie Hyiren Company Limited, a Cashew nut processing Company in Duadaso No 1 near Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Bono region, Charles Kwame Kumah, this will increase Ghana’s income generation, stabilise the price of the cashew nuts and also serve as avenue for employment for the teeming unemployed.
Mr. Kwame Kumah said this in an interview with GBC’s Radio Ghana.
Cashew farming has become a lucrative job in the country lately especially in Sampa in the Jaman North District of Bono Region and other parts of the region. It is fascinating and refreshing to know that cashew in 2013 generated about $170 million in the form of foreign exchange earnings into the economy of Ghana.
The lucrative nature of Cashew attracts businessmen from far and near, especially the Indians and Chinese who troop into the town to do business during the season. But Cashew farmers in the District seem to be losing interest in the cultivation of the fruit because of it unfavorable purchasing price for the commodity due to the inability of Ghanaians to process the raw Cashew Nuts into finished Products.
A cashew processor in the Jaman North of the Bono region, Mr. Charles Kwame Kumah said with the 57 percent of cashew produce in Africa, Ghana cultivates five percent of its production. He said the world production of cashew is increasing due to the fact that most countries are venturing into cashew production with the consumption of it also increasing globally to 7 percent hence the need for the country to go into serious cashew production to stabilise the producer price.
He said for exporting raw cashew nuts of about 25.000 metric tons, the country stands the chance of earning a foreign exchange of $25 million but when it is processed, the country stands a chance of earning 41.25 million dollars.
“With this 25.000 metric tons because the average price was 1 dollars, if we do not process it the money we are going to get is $25 million. Assuming we processed this same cashew with the price of 7.5 dollar per kilo of a kennel, Ghana would have had a foreign income of 41.25 million US dollars.”
Mr. Charles Kwame Kumah touched on the issue of lack of equipment for cashew processing in Ghana.
“The importation of cashew nuts in India is duty free and in Cote d’Ivoire, very few cashew nuts are processed, the government gives them 400 CFA, and there are also loans for the cashew processes to produce more.”
“These are some of the hindrances why Ghana cashew nut processing industry is not progressing.”
He revealed that the cashew nut shed is also very useful as it contains special oil called cashew nut shed liquid which is beneficial for human consumption. He called on the government and policy makers to make up policies that will improve the cashew processing in the country.
Story filed by Daniel Donkor.