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  • Ghana Risks Closing Down Its Major Cashew Processing Company

    Apr 8th, 2016

    Ghana stands the risk of closing down the only major cashew processing company in the country in the next few years.

    This is likely to happen if workable measures are not put in place to sustain the supply of raw cashew to the plant.cashewThe $35 million -dollar Brazilian private sector company that was constructed a couple of years ago with installed capacity of 35,000 metric tonnes is currently producing only 20 per cent of its capacity due mainly to inadequate supply of the commodity.Mr Tarciso Falcao, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company made this known when Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry and Madam Irene Vida Gala, Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana paid a working visit to the company at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region.Among the delegation are technocrats from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.Explaining the challenges of the company, Mr Falcao said la Cote D ‘Ivoire, which is the highest producer of the commodity in the sub-region with 700,000 tonnes had stopped supplying the company with the nuts.

    This followed the neighbouring country’s ban of export of the commodity.

    He said the company, with 541 workers, could increase the number if it receives adequate supply of cashew.The CEO said Ghana’s raw cashew total production is negligible as it produces only 7,000 tonnes, which is the 10th of the production level of la Cote D ‘Ivoire.He said the governments of Burkina Faso and Benin who are also major suppliers are bracing up to ban the export of the commodity to Ghana.Mr Falcao said although not officially stated anywhere, the banning of the export of the commodity in la Cote D’ Ivoire was a ploy to cripple the processing plant for a possible relocation into that country.He however remained resolute that he would continue to work hard to ensure that his outfit receives adequate supplies to sustain the processing plant in Ghana.“If it finally becomes very difficult to acquire more raw materials, we will not mind importing from Brazil although it will be much more expensive.”Dr Spio-Garbrah gave the assurance that government would do everything under its purview to ensure the survival of the cashew processing company.

    He said his outfit and other stakeholders in the cashew industry would in the next 60 days put in place measures that would make them sign memoranda of understanding to sustain the production of the commodity to become self-reliant.The Minister said it is unfair for the President and Ministers to woo investors into the country to face basic production challenges, hinting that it would be possible for Ghana to process 100 per cent of whatever it produces in the coming days.He said the stakeholders’ collaboration would include providing credit schemes to growers, processors and to create a buffer stock that would be used to ensure constant supply of the commodity to processors.Dr Spio-Garbrah said discussions would also be held with Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo and other cashew producing companies to ensure frequent supply of raw materials.Supporting farmers to step up production is the surest way to constantly supply the commodity, he said.Madam Gala, Brazilian, appealed to government to put in place policies that would support fledging domestic industries to flourish, particularly in the competitive world.She said the cashew processing company and the Dabala rice farming projects are two major Brazilian private sector companies that are operating in the country and gave the assurance that they would be ready to engage Ghana in technical cooperation.

    Source: GNA