The Member of Parliament for Nsuta Kwamang Beposo, Kwame Asafu-Adjei, has called on government on the need to pay much attention to the promotion of cashew nut.
In his statement presented to the plenary, Mr. Asafu-Adjei, who doubles as the Chairman of the Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs of the Parliamentary Select Committee pointed out that cashew must be promoted as a major agribusiness to help generate revenue for the country.
He indicated that cashew nut is of extreme economic importance to the country as it has become one of the foreign exchange earning agricultural products.
“Cashew nut has been the highest non-traditional export earner for the country since 2014. In 2017, foreign exchange earnings amounted to US$271 million, an increase of 27 percent from 2016 foreign exchange exchange earnings of US$213 million. The contribution of cashew to agriculture and GDP is 13.69%”, he revealed.
Mr. Asafu-Adjei again added that the production of cashew nut will contribute to other benefits such as friction-modifying material in brake lining, ingredients in building materials and repellent and ingredients in paints and varnishes.
He further stated that the cultivation of cashew nut provides employment to an estimated number of 100,000 farmers.
In his statement, he again stated that 100,000 labourers are directly involved in picking and harvesting cashew nuts and over 5,000 more are involved in drying and processing the nuts.
Expressing his concern on youth employment at the agric sector, Mr. Asafu-Adjei reiterated that the establishment of downstream industries at the district level that will use components of the cashew nut and tree as raw materials will provide more employment to the youth.
He therefore urged the government to support the activities of the Ghana National Association of Cashew Farmers for better valuation of production and equity in the distribution of income of the sub sector in the value Chain.
“Commodity like cashew will need to be actively supported as a major non-traditional export crop in order to narrow the estimated trade deficit and this will help bring on board more foreign exchange earnings to support local currency”, he concluded.