The Bono Regional Minister-designate, Justina Owusu-Banahene, has stated that the existing poor pricing regime for cashew is negatively affecting the production of the cash crop in the country.
According to her, conditions of cashew farmers have been worse off as a result of the absence of a pricing regime and the role of intermediaries for the non-traditional export product.
President Akufo-Addo last year inaugurated the Ghana Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA) to develop and promote the tree crops with consequential benefits to be accrued to the country.
He explained that the TCDA was the government’s strategy to promote the development of tree crops, other than cocoa, intimating that the authority would lead the nation’s agenda for the diversification of Ghana’s agriculture by developing the tree crops sector.
Taking her turn at the vetting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Mrs. Owusu-Banahene pledged her commitment to take a lead role in pushing for a pricing regime for cashew nuts when given the nod.
For her, the current situation “is affecting the farmers and people’s interest in the cashew production” which she noted was reducing.
She said the introduction of the pricing regime would pave the way for the farmers to be well-to-do and develop an interest in cashew farming, thereby cutting back the activities of intermediaries who are profit-oriented.
The Bono East, Bono, and the Ahafo regions, seen as one of the most vital breadbaskets, have been converted into cashew nut production to feed export markets.
This is to position Ghana as one of the largest producers of raw cashew nuts in Africa, and cashew nut production has increased fourfold across the continent since 2000.