The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has collaborated with GIZ/ComCashew is to train 300 persons from the public and private sectors on the production of improved planting materials and other good agricultural practices in cashew production.
The collaboration has been achieved through the joint organisation of Cashew Master Training Programmes (MTPs) between the German Development Cooperation/Competitive Cashew initiative (GIZ/ComCashew) with support from the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (GRIG).
Mr. Seth Osei Akoto, the Director Crop Services of the MoFA, announced at the opening of the MTP 11th Edition’s second session on Cashew Value Chain Promotion in Sunyani.
It was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and attended by 60 cashew experts from across Ghana “to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build networks for future collaboration”.
Mr. Osei-Akoto said the trainings over the past six years have been focusing on producing experts and motivated change makers to contribute to making the cashew sub-sector more profitable to Ghana and the West-African sub-region.
He said Ghana was well-known within the West-African sub-region for its advancement in cashew research and breeding activities, saying that in collaboration with the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana CRIG, the MoFA had developed high yielding clones that are well-suited for Ghana’s climate and environment.
Through the trilateral cooperation between Ghana, Brazil and Germany, Ghana has received some clones from Brazil which were being evaluated, Mr. Osei-Akoto said, and added that the MoFA in partnership with the CRIG had also supported other African countries such as Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Sierra Leone with improved cashew planting materials (Polyclonal seeds).
He said to further regulate and develop a sustainable environment for the production and trading of cashews in Ghana, MoFA continued to work with key stakeholders to ensure that the Tree Crop Development Authority Act (Act 1010) was operationalised in the coming months following the successful passage of that Act in December 2019.
Mr. Osei-Akoto stated that while MoFA was working on regulating the cashew sub-sector internally, it was also aligning itself with regional and international bodies such the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC) and the Network for Research and Development of Cashew (REDAA) to ensure that Ghanaian actors benefited from the knowledge, expertise and experiences of other producing countries.
“The CICC provides the Ghanaian cashew sub-sector with the needed dialogue platform to engage with policymakers in cashew-producing countries like Côte d’Ivoire. Liaising with REDAA enables the researchers to interact with colleague scientists and academicians on technical cashew production topics,” he explained.