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Close to 900,000 metric tonnes of cashew go waste in Bono Region


  23 Février      14        Economy (15054),

   

Sunyani, Feb. 23, GNA – Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, has appealed to Ghana’s development partners to assist in adding value to cashew fruits and nuts for job-creation and poverty reduction.

She expressed regret that 889,000 metric tons of cashew fruits went to waste in the region annually due to lack of processing plants to ensure value addition to the fruits and nuts.

Madam Owusu-Banahene made the appeal when Mrs Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner, interacted with heads of departments and agencies in Sunyani as part of her visit to the region to explore its economic potentials.

She said the region had about 74,000 acres of cashew plantation, which produced 88,900 beans annually, but the lack of processing facilities, disjointed value chain, price fluctuation and poor farm management culture were impeding the sector’s growth.

Another key economic potential of the area was the poultry sector, which had more than 1,160 farmers, with a poultry stock of about 8,000,000.

However, the lack of laboratory, high cost of poultry feed, drugs as well as price competition with imported products remained inimical to the growth of the industry.

Mrs Thompson said she was impressed about the economic prospects of the region, particularly the poultry sector, and pledged the UK’s commitment to boosting trade in Ghana through value addition.

Mr Dennis Amenga Abugri, the Bono Regional Director, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), said the region’s farmer population was around 153,000, with only 107 extension officers, thereby contributing to challenges in technology dissemination.

It mostly cultivates maize, cassava, yam, plantain, cashew, cocoa and mango as its  major economic crops.

Mr Abugri said the impact of climate change was well felt and slowing down food productivity in the region.

Dennis Peprah

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