A trilateral agreement has been signed between Ghana, Brazil and Germany – meant to foster research capacities in the Ghanaian cashew sector as well as to develop cashew apple processing capacities and a market for cashew by-products.
Ghana is experiencing a yield gap with a production of 700 kilogrammes per hectare, whereas other countries, including Brazil, are producing about 1,200 kg per hectare.
Currently, cashew apple processing is still marginalised even though there is high potential for additional income-generation along the value chain.
As a result, the Trilateral Agreement Project – dubbed “Improved cashew planting material and by-product processing technologies for Ghana” – aims at accelerating research on high-quality cashew varieties that are tolerant of major diseases and pests, and well-adapted to local conditions.
In the area of processing technologies, the project is directed at promoting cashew apple processing technologies and marketing to increase the competitiveness of the value addition segment in the cashew value chain.
The agreement offers Ghana an opportunity to tap into potentials of the cashew market. This cooperation is targetted at assisting Ghana in achieving its goals on economic and rural development through job-creation, income-generation, food security, climate change mitigation, and straightening agricultural production systems.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra, German Ambassador Christoph Retzlaff said the German Development Cooperation has committed itself to supporting the Planting for Food and Jobs programme by the Ghana government.
He said German contributions in the agricultural sector of Ghana focus on employment and income-generation, promotion of productivity, market linkages and capacity development.
“All our programmes aim at increasing the competitiveness of agricultural value chains by promoting and strengthening market linkages, better access to finance, and improvement of extension services and farm inputs,” he said.
According to the acting Director of Crop Services, Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, the development and production of cashew nut and cashew apple processing present a good opportunity for Ghana to earn foreign exchange to support the economy.
He said the cooperation is to complement technical contributions from the three countries, and to apply specific knowledge, skills and technologies to the cashew sector in Ghana.
The trilateral cooperation is an initiative of the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Government of Brazil through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, as well as the Government of Germany through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur International Zusammenarbeit, to strengthen cross-regional technical cooperation in the cashew sector.