Cashew in Ghana 10,000 jobs lost in cashew sector, Spio Garbrah says

At a meeting with industry players in Sunyani, Spio-Garbrah said an estimated 10,000 people lost their jobs due to shortage of cashew nuts to the processing companies in the region hence the ban.

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The minister of trade and industry, Dr Spio Garbrah, at a working visit in the Brong Ahafo region offered an explanation over a recent ban on cashew export from Ghana which was later revoked after an uproar from cashew farmers.

At a meeting with industry players in Sunyani, Spio-Garbrah said an estimated 10,000 people lost their jobs due to shortage of cashew nuts to the processing companies in the region hence the ban.

READ MORE:Trade ministry restricts export of raw cashew nut

In the statement that banned cashew export, the minister said “The survival of the industry which is processing cashew in Ghana is on the brink of collapse and will only survive on the availability of adequate supply of raw cashew nuts for processing.”

So far, one out of the 11 processing plants in the region is operating. The rest is folded up.

Last week, the largest processing factory in the region, KONA Agro Processing Limited folded up over operational challenges.

The company, which employed 250 workers, many of whom were, used to process about 1,500 metric tons of raw cashew annually for export, the GNA reported.

READ MORE:Cashew sector designs 10-year plan to target 200,000MT by 2020

The company's Director, Mr. Kwabena Taylor, said his outfit needed US$1.5 million to get back into business.

Spio Garbrah told the meeting that the ban on exportation of cashew nuts was in the interest of the country, adding that consultations at various levels were ongoing to come out with the best decisions which will stand the test of time.

The ban, which was later reverted, drew rare criticism from MPs of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

The Majority leader Alban Bagbin said the minister was acting like ‘Don Quixote’ and that the directive had no legal basis.

READ MORE:Cashew exports ban suspended

Deputy Majority Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Banda in the Brong Ahafo region, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim described the directive as “very weak and illegal,” questioning the basis of the directive.

Cashew farmers at that time derided the directive, saying it was putting the farmers at the mercy of two processing cashew plants.

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