GHANA – Ghana earned US$378 million from the sale of 110 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2018, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has said.

The amount according to MoFA, represented 43 per cent of the total revenue obtained from non-traditional export commodities in the country.

MoFA, through its Director for Crop Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, announced this at the opening of a one-week technical training programme on cashew value chain promotion in Sunyani yesterday.

The training was organised by Competitive Cashew Initiative (GIZ/ComCashew), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI), with support from the MoFA.

Mr Osei-Akoto commended ComCashew and its partners for the investment in the capacity building of actors with the cashew sub-sector and gave assurance that the ministry would continue to collaborate and support such initiatives.

While ddressing the participants, Mr Osei-Akoto noted that there were challenges bedevilling the cashew sub-sector in most producing countries, including Ghana.

He explained that one of the challenges was low yields of between 200 to 400 kilogrammes per hectare as compared to the potential yield of 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms per hectare in Asia and other continents.

Cashew’s strong performance last year resulted from several factors: increased demand from Vietnam, increased yield of quality nuts to meet growing demand, reduced cost of credit and streamlined mechanisms to facilitate approvals and disbursements of credit facilities.

In a speech read on her behalf, Bono Regional Minister, Mrs Evelyn Ama Kumi-Richardson, called on partners in the cashew sub-sector to support and encourage more processing of the commodity in the region.

Finance and Administration Manager of ComCashew, Mrs Juliana Ofori-Karikari, explained that the main objective of her organisation was to increase the competitiveness of production and processing of cashew in Africa.

The next biggest agricultural NTE earner was banana whose revenues grew by 120 percent in 2018 to U$85.544 million, accounting for 3.04 percent of total NTEs.

This sharp increase was due to an increase in the number of exporters, growth in sales of already existing exporters as well as the appreciation of the Euro, the currency in which most banana 0065port sales are denominated, against the US dollar.