Accra, Aug 05, GNA- The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Wednesday, donated sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
The donation was organised under the GIZ-ComCashew project, a regional cashew project, with funding support from the Federal Republic of Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Items donated included 100 pieces each of Veronica buckets and stands, 98 packs of liquid soap, 100 packs of disposable tissue, 50 packs of disposable hand gloves and 30 packs of face masks.
Presenting the items in Accra, Madam Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, Country Director, GIZ Ghana, said as an organisation that supported the growing of cashew, the health and wellbeing of persons within the crop’s value chain was a priority.
She said over the past 10 years, GIZ through ComCashew had contributed greatly to the sector, adding that improving the agriculture sector remained important on German government’s development agenda.
She said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had, however, taken a toll on the sector, particularly the cashew sector across the world, compelling the Cooperation to increase its level of attention to the global dynamics, to ensure its sustainability.
“For example, India, which is a main cashew processing hub instituted major restrictions in ports and processing factories, which has lowered their processing capacity and further lowered demand and prices of raw cashew nuts bought from West African farmers.
“We’ve had to be aware of government decisions in all the countries highlighted in the cashew map and their potential impact on cashew,” she said.
The ComCashew project operates in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, all in Africa.
The Country Director lauded the public-private partnership between the Ministry, GIZ-ComCashew and others which she said, had accounted for the successes chalked within the sector in recent years.
She added that GIZ was currently collaborating with the Ministry’s Directorate of Crop Services to support some cashew farmer cooperatives in the Bono, Bono East, Ashanti Savannah, Volta, Eastern and Oti Regions
“We have also supported other cashew value chain actors with COVID-19 support items. This, we believe, will go a long way to help control the spread of the virus,” she added.
Mr Philipp Stalder, Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, called for a continuous collaboration among partners and farmers, particularly within this COVID-19 era, in order to minimise the threat of the Coronavirus on farmers.
He also urged the Ministry to fast track the establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authority and the creation of a cashew dialogue platform.
Mr Gyiele Nurah, Minister of State in-charge of Agriculture, who received the items, said the COVID-19 outbreak was threatening the realization of its Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) project.
The project being implemented by the Directorate of Crops Services targeted the raising of five million cashew planting materials for onward distribution to farmers for the establishment of 50,000 hectare new cashew plantation by the end of 2020.
He expressed gratitude to the organisation and assured that the items would be put to good use.