The Director for the Department of Food and Agricultural for Wenchi Municipal Mr. Victor Yao Dablu is asking cashew farmers in the Municipality to embrace the implementation of the Ghana Tree Crop Authority Act, which is in the offing.
According to him the bill has been approved by Cabinet and is expected to facilitate the setting up of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority (GTCDA); the authority will be the statutory body that will regulate the country’s tree crops sub-sector.
Mr. Dablu said the purpose is to regulate the production, processing and trading of tree crops specified in the first schedule of the Tree Crop Development Act.
“It is also to set standards and specifications for fresh and processed products from selected value chains specified in the first schedule of the Tree Crop Development Act” he added.
He made this disclosure during the handover of some farm service equipment’s that farmers can use to resolve the challenges that have been identified in the cashew production process funded by the European Union and ADRA UK in Wenchi in the Bono Region.
The ceremony was organized by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) a global Humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with a mission to work with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change.
Mr. Dablu revealed that the authority will regulate and manage the production, processing and marketing of tree crops such as cashew, mango, coffee and citrus.
The Project Manager of the Bono-Asante Atea (BAAT) Project Dr. Anthony Augustus Mainoo explained that the project intends to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere; Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all; and Goal 17: Revitalize the Global Partnership for sustainable development.
He added that implementation of this Bono-Asante Atea project was started by the Project’s Implementation team in the Wenchi Municipal a year ago by creating awareness on the need to participate in the cashew business, through radio campaigns and farmer registration exercises.
“The project has since built the capacities of its clientele through training and skills development; these, added to the improved starter package of resources that have been delivered and are increasing cashew production and productivity for the Wenchi Municipality” he said..
Hon. Dr. Prince Kwakye Afriyie Municipal Chief Executive for Wenchi indicated that the industry needs more support from global partners to boost the value chain. “There are still numerous challenges facing this industry but the fact that its gains are guaranteed makes it a worthy venture especially considering the fact that the government and other stakeholders are working on fixing these challenges” he said.
“Farmers in Ghana are very poor but elsewhere in Europe the narrative is different, why can’t it be like that in Ghana” he quizzed.
Chairman for the occasion, Nana Ansere Asakrah II Akrobihene advised farmers to keep the items handed over to them in good care and not use them for their personal business as most individuals do in Ghana.
He urged all to be supportive in improving various stages of the cashew value chain; he is confident that the project’s expected results of increased access to employment opportunities, ensuring sustainability of development of local authorities and increased income generating activities in the selected cashew growing areas will be realized by the project closure.
The Program officer for ADRA UK Daria Markek thanked the Ministry of Food and Agricultural and the entire value chain actors for their great support for the project. “I would like to gratefully acknowledge the work of our project Management team and you the farmers; it has been positive and successful and the program is running smoothly” she added.
Also present at the handing over ceremony were representatives from the Cashew Value Chain, officials from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, officials from ADRA and the Wenchi Municipal Assembly.