According to the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), cashew has over the years become the leading non-traditional export earner in Ghana’s agriculture sub-sector, contributing $196.7 million in 2016.
Meanwhile Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has proposed that additional charges be put on the exports of raw cashew to deter local producers from exporting.
GEPA last month signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana and BLC consult to facilitate the development and implementation of a 10-year National Cashew Development Plan, to regulate the value chain of the Cashew Industry.
Among the key objectives of the 10-Year National Cashew Development Plan (2017-2027) were to support research and development to improve inputs and technology from the farm to export.
It would also expand production of raw cashew nuts from 55,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes, and increase processing capacity from 57,000 metric tonnes to 200,000 metric tonnes.
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For the past few years, cashew has become one of the leading non-traditional export earner for Ghana’s agricultural sector.
Ghana has recorded a $196.7 million earning in cashew production in 2016 according to the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).
However, the local processing companies do not get enough of the nuts for their products.
Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Ms Gifty Klenam believes that this was to ensure local processors get raw cashew for grinding and value-addition so as to increase the earnings Ghana gets on the world market instead of exporting the commodity in the raw form.
“As part of our strategy to implement the National Export Strategy of the government, we are considering having a conversation with the appropriate Ministry to surcharge the export of raw cashew that is done in the country,” Ms Klenam said.
She also noted that there is a fluctuation in the amount of cashew local producers are able to acquire as a whopping 90% of the local produce are exported.
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“We believe that exporting the cashew raw doesn’t earn us more revenue. Besides, the foreign exchange that is earned from the export is also not returned to the country to support the cedi,” she said.
She said it was through the processing of the nuts that jobs would be created for the youth and expressed the hope that the surcharge would be implemented soon.
The surcharge which she was hopeful to be implemented soon would create further avenues of employment for the youth of the nation.
The Plan aims at regulating, formalising and providing strategic investment to revamp the cashew industry, increase production and productivity along the value chain and ultimately regulate the industry.