The second session of the fourth edition of the Master Training Program for Cashew Value Chain Promotion is currently underway at the Eusbett Hotel at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.The program which has been put together by the Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) in collaboration with the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), with support from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Cocoa Research Institute Ghana (CRIG), started from August 7 and scheduled to end on August 11, 2017.
The aim of this unique Master Training Program, is to increase theoretical knowledge and practical skills of African cashew experts along the value chain and thus to further promote the competitiveness of African cashew.The program provides a platform for 75 cashew experts coming from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build national and regional networks for future collaboration.
Returning to their host institutions, the participants will have a multiplier effect on the cashew industry when sharing their knowledge and experiences gained by attending this tailor-made training.During knowledge sharing sessions of theories and their application, participants learn about all aspects of the cashew value chain from production and processing of raw cashew nuts, to economics, cashew market dynamics, marketing and financing mechanisms.
The second session in Sunyani will mainly focus on Improved Planting Material development, establishment of new plantations and design of adult training programme among others. Participants will be introduced to Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender and Cashew value chain promotion.At each session, there is a combination of topics on self-reflection and perception management and on behaviors and values that affect learning and teaching skills. The highlight of this session will be a field visit to the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) research station and farm visits in the cashew production areas around Sunyani.
“The Cashew Master Training Programme is an important "next step" in the concerted collaborative efforts and work done by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Cocoa Research Institute, ComCashew and the African Cashew Alliance to improve the Cashew sector in Ghana.” – Hon. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta regional minister.In the words of Mr. Ernest Mintah Acting MD of the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), “…Investing in the cashew business is a necessity, but knowledge to run your business is vital. Master trainers have, since the inception of this programme, become the compass that will take cashew business to a globally competitive level…” Seven months.
Three sessions. Three locations.
Rolled out in seven months, the Master Training Program is divided in three successive sessions to be held in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. In so called “inter-sessions”, the participants return to their host institutions to conduct field work, either individually or in groups, to deepen knowledge on a selected topic. After completion of the program, the participants become acknowledged cashew experts.
They either train farmers, provide assistance to processors, or advice institutions in their home countries. At the heart of the Master Training Program are facilitators and technical experts who teach, evaluate and potentially re-design each training session according to participants’ needs.The training contents are developed with great support and commitment from various ComCashew partners. They use stimulating presentations, interactive role plays and lively discussions to deliver trainings.
The Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) The Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) constitutes a new type of multi?stakeholder partnership in development cooperation. Since its inception in 2009, around 440,000 new jobs have been created in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique – 75 per cent in production, 20 per cent in trade and 5 per cent in processing.
In Ghana, the initiative has trained more than 40,000 farmers and has created over 46,500 jobs in production and processing. In the area of processing, the project has given technical support and assistance to 7 processors.The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ (GmbH) has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the management of the project. ComCashew benefits from the diverse commercial and technical expertise of their private and public-sector partners.
Key cooperation partners in Ghana are the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG).