The implementation of an 800,000 Euro cashew development intervention project has ended in the country, increasing more than 14,500 employment opportunities in the cashew value chain.
The Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) Ghana, facilitated the implementation of the three-year “Bono-Asante Atea (BAAT)” project, which started in 2019, and co-funded by the European Union and UK ADRA in five Districts and Municipalities of the Bono and Ashanti Regions.
Under the project, more than 5,000 youth, men and women in the Wenchi Municipality, Nkoranza, Tain and Banda and Jaman North districts as well as Ejura Sekyeredumase municipality of the Bono and Ashanti regions were supported to establish 10,000 cares of cashew farms with starter package.
Also, 21 business units, (farm service providers) were set up and supported farm implements and equipment to provide farm services, while 10 carpenters were trained in beehive construction to produce the needed hives for honey producers.
Highlighting some achievements of the project at a meeting, at Sampa in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region, Dr Anthony A. Mainoo, Project Manager said in all, 9,055 males and 5,911 females benefited from the project.
He said about 500 existing farmers were trained and provided with beehives, and had begun harvesting from their hives, while 34 agro-input dealers within the beneficiary districts were provided with training in business management skills.
Dr Mainoo said cashew nut yield had also witnessed significant increases due to adoption of recommended agronomic practices such as pruning and canopy management, fertilization and manure application, disease and pest control as well as improved nuts collection techniques and effective weed control.
The Project Manager however added the COVID-19 impacted negatively on the project’s implementation, saying the pandemic slowed down the implementation of some of the project activities that bothered on training a large number of farmers.
He said the high cost of implements for farm maintenance also slowed down the adoption of technologies by farmers who needed equipment to undertake certain activities on their cash farms.
“MoFA Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs) needed to be trained in the technologies to be delivered before they could assist in providing the necessary technical services which was not factored in the project implementation planning process and this caused delays in some time-bound field activities”, Dr Mainoo added.
Dr William Brown, ADRA Country Director, thanked the EU and the ADRA UK for funding the project, which had made significant impact in cashew production in the project implemented districts and expressed the hope the beneficiary farmers would continue to apply the knowledge acquired to yield quality nuts.
Mr Solomon Owusu, the Jaman North District Chief Executive lauded the implementation of the project, saying more than 1,365 farmers in the district received training in good agronomic practices, while 254 cashew farmers also received practical training on lining and pegging.
He added that 2,888 farmers benefited from training on good environmental practices and climate change adaptation, while 2,848 of them received extension support.