GITAC raises concern over raw cashew export

cashew nut exports
  • calls for premium through value addition

The Ghana India Trade Advisory Chamber (GITAC) has expressed concern over the lack of value addition through processing of the increasing cashew nut exports from Ghana to India.

The Chamber’s president, Dominic Oduro-Antwi, told the B&FT that though cashew constitutes almost 80 percent of India’s imports from Ghana, monetary value is lost due to lack of cashew processing plants in the country.

Ghana’s major market destinations for cashew are Vietnam and India, with export values of US$533million and US$445million respectively.

Indeed, the country’s untapped cashew in shell trade potential is estimated at over US$660million.

Trade in cashew, he said, has become one of the main demands from Ghana to India – more than most traditional commodities such as gold. However, processing these raw materials is done in the importing countries… which devalues the product.

“When you export raw, the price is cheaper; but it’s not the same when premium is added,” he indicated.

Data from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) indicate that the country exported about US$340.7million of raw cashew in shell to seven countries across the globe in 2020 alone.

With India being the second-largest export destination for cashew nuts in shell from Ghana (41.41 percent in 2020), Vietnam was the main destination for Ghanaian exports of cashew nuts in shell; representing more than half (58.34 percent) of all cashew in shell exported to the world in 2020.

But Mr. Oduro argued that a concerted effort must be made by both the public and private sectors to add premium before exporting.

“We must begin to change the narrative from raw cashew to processed cashew. The opportunities are present to rake in huge sums if only we prioritise value addition as an agenda,” he noted.

Trade data from the GITAC show that more than 15,000 Indians are trading in Ghana, with a chunk of them prioritising the cashew trade.

This, the Chamber said, illustrates the need for Ghanaian traders to increase trade to India in other sectors including vegetables, fruit among others.

Apart from cashew and gold, Ghana has been recording increasing trade in Shea and cocoa with India. Major imports from India into the country include spices and agricultural machinery, among others.

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