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  • African Ministers Charged To Build Resilient Cashew Industry

    Apr 24th, 2024

    DEPUTY MINISTER for Food and Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo, has charged Agriculture ministers from Africa to build a more sustainable and resilient future for the cashew industry.

    Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 6th Council of Ministers’ Conference of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC) held in Accra between April 14 – 20, 2024, the minister underscored the need for collaboration among member countries to achieve a resilient cashew industry in Africa.

    “It is imperative that we work together to build a more sustainable and resilient future for the cashew industry in Africa and beyond. While significant progress has been made, addressing issues such as climate change, market volatility and social equity within the cashew industry requires continued collaboration and innovation”, he noted.

    Highlighting the prospects of cashew production in Africa, Mr. Addo intimated that, “our favourable climate provides us with the opportunity to sustainably develop this sector through collective efforts” as Africa holds the distinction of being the world’s largest producer of cashew, accounting for 58% of the global production.”

    “As Ministers of Agriculture and Trade from cashew-growing countries in Africa, we bear the responsibility of formulating and implementing effective policies that benefit our farmers and stakeholders along the value chain. We are obligated to provide our people with solutions to the myriad of challenges facing the sector”, he stressed.

    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA), William Agyapong Quaittoo, in an interaction with journalists bemoaned  the country’s inability to process cashew before export, disclosing that 90% of all produced cashews are exported, a situation he stressed must be changed sooner than later.

    In addressing this challenge, government, he revealed, allowed the TCDA to secure a loan of $100 million out which about $60 million dollarswould go into cashew production in a 6-year project aimed at increasing the processing capacity for the crop.

    Additionally, the government has also distributed about 4.7 million seeds of tree crops to farmers nationwide with cashew being the most distributed seed.

    “By the end of the six years, we would be able to do 50% of processing. We’re currently at 10%”, he opined.

    Held alongside the 6th CICC were series of activities including the Cashew Research Dialogue, which brought together ministers, experts and researchers from member countries to share knowledge, discuss achievements and identify gaps in research and development within the cashew industry.

    The event also saw the Cashew Expo and Exhibition, which provided a platform for the showcase of various cashew products (raw and residual), educate the public on their benefits, and expose local cashew processors to potential markets.

    The CICC, headquartered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, is an international and intergovernmental organizationestablished in 2016 to promote, advocate, share knowledge, innovate, and provide platforms for discussions on issues related to the cashew value chain.

    Comprising of 11 member countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo, the CICC aims to support the development of the cashew sector and contribute to the economic and social growth of its member states.