To complement efforts aimed at transforming the cashew sector across production countries in Africa, a capacity building initiative seeking to groom professional actors along the value chain has been held in Sunyani.
A total of 85 cashew value chain actors benefited from the training dubbed cashew Master Training Program (MTP). The trainees were from Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Togo.
The weeklong training sought to enhance the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of the ‘cashew experts’ and promote competitiveness in the sector. It covered knowledge sharing sessions of theories and their application; participants also learnt about all aspects of the cashew value chain ranging from production and processing of raw cashew nuts to economics, cashew market dynamics, marketing and financing mechanisms among others.
The MTP is an initiative for the cashew sector to develop qualified professionals along the value chain through knowledge exchange, learning, and adoption of innovations among others in the tree crop sector across Africa. Until the 15th edition, 1,037 people from 20 different countries had benefited from the Program.
Delivering the opening remarks, Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu Banahene, affirmed government’s commitment to institute results-oriented policy frameworks to help harness the untapped potential in the cashew sector, thus alluding to the establishment of ten-year cashew development plan, and the Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
“Provision of technical assistance through extension services by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture among other interventions demonstrates government’s commitment to that section of agriculture,” she added.
She entreated cashew farmers to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices in order to safeguard the environment.
The Team Leader of GIZMOVE, Rita Weidinger, said “the market-oriented value chain for jobs and growth in the ECOWAS region underscore the importance of capability development, competitive value chain promotion in order to build a strong and sustainable cashew industry.”
She said GIZMOVE recognises the strong partnership with key institutions especially the involvement of women, stressing that the cashew sector will become competitive if women and men are fairly engaged in its promotion.
Addressing the session via zoom, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) William Quaitoo, commended African Cashew Alliance and its partners for their persistent commitment to help transform the cashew sector through capacity building, value addition, research and promotion.
The Program themed “Strengthening Capacities for a Competitive African Cashew Sector” was organized by the African Cashew Alliance in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), and Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG). It was supported by GIZ/MOVE (ComCashew), the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Solidaridad and other partners.