Volta goes cashew; TESYD Farms leads with 1000 acres

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TESYD Farms Limited, an agro-investment Company, is leading cashew cultivation in the Volta region.

The Company currently has 1,000, and 850 acres under cultivation in the Volta and the Bono Regions respectively.

Mr Kofi Dzamesi, the Owner, said the Company had recently acquired a 5,000-acre patch at Adaklu, also for the expansion of the crop, one of the favourites of the raw material export economy.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a visit to the Volta fields located at Vakpo Dzogbega in the North Dayi District that the Company’s successes were promoting the commercial viability of cultivating the nut in the Region.

“I want to demystify the belief that cashews do not do well in the Volta Region. TESYD Farms is proving that cashew can do well in Volta.”

He said the crop enjoyed patronage for non-perishability among other properties, which made it a high demand commodity.

“Ghana is not able to meet the demand,” the elite farmer noted, while touting the scientific and health benefits of the fruit.

The nation’s cashew exports hover around 70,000 to more than 100,000 tonnes annually with a 0.5 per cent share of global export.

Government is promoting the crop through the establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authority.

Mr Dzamesi, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Power Authority, said the crop, grown unpruned and with a lifespan of more than half a decade, was the best for forest reclamation.

The leaf of the highly acidic plant is more known for soil fertilization properties, and the seed shells highly combustible with several industrial applications.

Alcohol brewed from the juicy fleshy fruit is also considered among the best.

TESYD Company practices pure organic farming, and flowering trees contribute to the restoration of bee populations in the valleys.

Organic farming is expensive, and Mr. Dzamesi said the Company had spent more than two million cedis on the Vakpo fields since 2018, currently harvesting ten percent of the total expected annual output of five million cedis.

He said the output rose steadily as the farm progressed, and that a long-term project was the establishment of a factory to process the crops.

He said the livelihood and environmental benefits of the crop leveled out the painstaking investment at the initiation, and should be considered by all.

TESYD has ten permanent workers and several casual workers on the Vakpo enterprise, which has become a sustainable employment outlet for many in the area, particularly women who claim the right to the harvesting labour.

A borehole, tractors and other amenities are on the farm, with several industrious individuals and groups wrestling hundreds of acres of maize, vegetables and other seasonal crops among rows of cashew trees.

They are free to continue feeding off land cleared by the Company until the growing trees close out the skies, with the farm currently supporting more than 100 acres of garden eggs every season.

“Lots of the garden eggs you see are from here,” Mr Dzamesi said.

He, however, lamented challenges with labour, which he claimed was pertinent to the Volta Region and affecting its industrial prospects.

He said the youth should lead the Region’s agricultural and industrial development, and was hopeful his endeavour would motivate them.

“Am 63 years old and am into cashew. If you are young, what problem do you have? People talk about unemployment but if the youth want to farm they will farm.”

He commended government for the establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authority, which he said greatly enhanced the promotion of cashew, but said support for investors and others along the value chain including out-growers should be effected.

TESYD Farms has a 90-10 profit arrangement with the Vakpo Traditional Council, which provided the land, and the CEO commended the Council for prudent arrangement, which was helping develop the area into a major agrarian enclave.

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