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
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
“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
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
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
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
“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.”