The Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA) plans to partner African cashew producing countries like Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to help develop the potentials of the local cashew subsector, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Yaw Frimpong Addo, has disclosed.
The TCDA is a corporate body which has been set up to regulate and develop the production, processing and trading of six tree crops including cashew in a sustainable environment to among others diversify the country’s export commodities.
“The TCDA is looking forward to partnering with neighboring countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, among others in the framework of CICC to ensure the cashew subsector in Ghana and Africa as a whole, is well structured,” he said.
The Authority he noted, has commenced operations and it has so far distributed millions of cashew seedlings to farmers for expansion of farms, indicating that the move will help increase production to about 300,000 metric tonne of raw cashew nuts (RCN) by 2030 for processing and export trade.
The Deputy Minister reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable cashew industry to bolster the economy, saying “It is for this reasons that we are working with diverse national and international bodies, governments and non-governmental agencies, private and public sectors, to ensure we are leveraging the best examples across the globe.”
Mr. Addo made the statement in a speech read for him by the Director of Crop Services-MoFA, Seth Osie Akoto at the opening session of the 15th annual cashew conference held in Accra. The conference which is being organized by the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) is under the theme “A sustainable cashew supply chain for the future.”
In a keynote address, the Deputy Administrator of Global Programmes of USDA, Mark Slupek, said a future sustainable cashew supply chain in Africa where the industry will be digitalized with farmers harnessing technology to increase yields and efficiency is a prime objective of the Department.
He said: “Through data management and traceability, digitizing financial information, providing remote technology enhanced extension services, using drone technology to map cashew trees, and more we are able to improve productivity and build a sustainable supply chain. USDA wants to utilize 21st century technology to meet 21st century demands.”
The USDA he added, is also working hand in hand with African Union across economic communities and sectors to harmonize regulatory standards and create greater fluidity in all sectors including cashews, emphasizing that “with improved regulatory standards and fewer barriers to trade, African cashews can find sustainable demand and investment.”
Commenting further on investments, Mr. Slupek announced that USDA current Food for Progress cashews programming has awarded US$183 million across 8 countries in West Africa: Benin, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Cote D’ Ivoire, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. He explained that the projects reach approximately 150,000 direct beneficiaries and have helped generate $180 million in sales, both locally and internationally.
Sharing experience of cashew processing in Vietnam, world leading processor, the Vice President cum Trade Promotion Director of Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS), Mr. Tran Van Hiep, said it is imperative for African countries to embrace new technologies, focus on treating exhaust gas, wastewater and industrial waste to ensure environmental friendliness as well as eliminate all discriminatory factors and pay attention to social equality issues.