In an exciting development for Ghana’s cashew industry, the Bono Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Dennis Abugri Amenga, has commended STAR Ghana Foundation for its support of Cashew Watch Ghana. This support has helped to strengthen advocacy efforts within the cashew sector in Ghana.
For years, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have overlooked the cashew sector, neglecting its needs and challenges. However, the commendable involvement of STAR Ghana Foundation and other CSOs in driving policies that address these issues has been recognized. It is essential for the industry to thrive that the income generated is fairly shared among its participants, and the support from both the government and CSOs is a positive step towards achieving this goal.
The commendation was made by Mr. Abugri Amenga during the launch of the Amplifying the Voices of Cashew Farmers (AVFC) Project in Drobo, Bono Region. This 15-month initiative, funded by STAR Ghana Foundation and implemented by Cashew Watch Ghana, aims to empower cashew farmers and mobilize civil society to advocate for meaningful actions from state actors. The project focuses on promoting transparency, accountability, and a vibrant cashew sector through advocacy efforts.
Mr. Abugri Amenga emphasized the crucial role played by Cashew Watch Ghana in advocating for change within the industry and commended the government for recognizing their efforts.
Moreover, Mr. Simon Asore, the Functional Steering Committee Chairman of Cashew Watch Ghana, highlighted the formation of the Cashew Watch Ghana platform in 2019. This platform, consisting of CSOs, media, cashew farmers, and local processors, was established to unite cashew farmers with other key actors in the industry, fostering advocacy for change and improving the livelihoods of cashew farmers, particularly women.
The MOFA Regional Director also shared positive news about the growth of cashew production in the Bono Region. Since the implementation of the Planting for Export and Rural Development program in 2018, over 46,000 hectares of new cashew plantations have been established in the region. Additionally, thousands of farmers have received free improved cashew seedlings and support from Agricultural Extension Officers (AEOs) to adopt best practices, resulting in improved yields.
The combined efforts of STAR Ghana Foundation, Cashew Watch Ghana, and various stakeholders are demonstrating a commitment to the cashew industry in Ghana. With increased advocacy and support, the sector has the potential to flourish and bring about positive change for cashew farmers across the country.