Home   >   NEWS & VIEWS   >   News

  • Cashew industry needs a big push – ACA

    Mar 23rd, 2016

    The Africa Cashew Alliance (ACA) has urged government to create an enabling environment and policies in the cashew industry to enable it realise its objective of local value addition through processing.

    The industry in Ghana currently has 14 factories with a processing capacity of 60,000mt, while the country produces 50,000mt of raw nuts.

    Speaking to the press in Accra, Edgar Maokola-Majogo-Ag President of ACA, said due to problems with procurement for the processing factories in Ghana, 10 out of the 14 factories (representing over 70 percent) were closed last year.

    “We can imagine the tremendous loss to promoters of the factories, the loss of employment for the workers -- mainly women -- and government in terms of tax, foreign exchange and other revenues.

    “To all the direct and indirect stakeholders, we would like to point out that without government support and the enabling policies, the objective of local value addition through processing cannot be realised.

    “Some of the member-countries of ACA such as Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau, have recently reformed their cashew sectors to provide an enabling environment and support for all sectors in the cashew value chain,” he said.

    He said ACA will continue to partner with government, local and international stakeholders to support the industry through technical assistance, access to market information, business advisory services, and food safety.

    He said they will also advocate for policies that will increase the production and processing of African cashew that meets international best practices, attracts the needed investment into the industry, and contributes to the development aspirations of the producing countries.

    According to him, the cashew sector in Africa is still in its nascent stage and will need cooperation and support of all stakeholders, including government, to ensure it achieves its full potential and contributes to national and regional economies.

    Africa is the largest producer of raw cashew nuts in the world, with an estimated annual output of 1.2million mt, produced by about 2million smallholder farmers.

    Out of this output, only about 15 percent is currently processed in Africa while the bulk is exported to be processed abroad; thereby limiting the benefits of employment, investment, government revenues and foreign exchange earnings in Africa, Mr. Maokola-Majogo said.

    He said one of the major objectives of the ACA is to promote local processing of raw cashew nuts in Africa, to encourage employment and reduce poverty among the farming communities by enhancing their income.

    It is estimated that a 25 percent increase in raw cashew nut processing in Africa will generate over US$100million in household income, thereby improving the livelihoods of many rural families.

    According to Mr. Maokola-Majogo, since its inception in 2006 ACA has been promoting initiatives that will increase value addition through the processing of raw cashew nuts alongside improving the competitiveness of the African cashew industry and sustainability, as well as facilitating public-private cooperation for the industry’s development.

    “As part of our policy of recognising the importance of public-private partnerships for development of the African cashew industry, we paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, to express our appreciation to government for its commitment toward development of the sector.

    “We have noted the bold initiatives of government to promote the industry by encouraging and supporting local cashew-processing in the country.”