Cashew Processors Call for Ban on Export of Raw Cashew Nuts
The Association of Cashew Processors of Ghana (ACPG) has called for an outright ban on the export of raw cashew nuts.
The Association, which seeks to formalize the operations of cashew processors in the country, believes this would enable them add value to the nuts, which would bring in more foreign exchange for the country.
The then Minister of Trade and Industry under the Mahama administration, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, defended the ministry’s decision to ban exportation of cashew nuts back in 2016, blaming the practice for the collapse of local cashew processing companies.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the president of the Association, Nii Smith, called for the development of effective regulations to protect local cashew processors.
“We’re calling on government to introduce certain taxes that will discourage the foreigners from coming to buy the raw cashew nuts for export. We would also not fall short of calling on the government to be bold and even ban the export of raw cashew nuts. Because, I strongly believe that we have the capacity to process all the cashew we produce.”
He called for the introduction of regulations that will support local processors.
“Government should create systems and opportunities that would at least ensure first stage processing to be done in the country before they are exported.”
Nii Smith, however ,explained that the association was also taking its own steps to support governments 10 Year Cashew Development Plan
“The 5 year development plan looks at retooling of processing factories, through the creation of a machinery pool. We are also looking at supporting the up and coming processing unit to make sure they get the appropriate tools for them to be efficient in their processing.”
On the subject of developing quality human resource for the cashew sector, Nii Smith stated that the association will focus on the human resource in the industry.
“We’ll be looking at how we can develop the human resource base through initiatives like an internship program that will bring students into some of the processing factories from the time they start their courses. This will ensure that by the time they are done with their internships they will have the skills to help run the factories. We’re also looking at various training programs to ensure that, at all times we have skilled workers to help produce cashew and cashew products meets international standards.”
Nii Smith made the comments on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Association of Cashew Producers here in Accra.
The inauguration ceremony was used to outdoor the general council of the ACPG. The council includes the Nii Smith (President), Kojo Acheampong (Secretary), George Sarpong (Treasurer).
The other members of the council are Mathew Porter, Charles Kuma, Joseph Duku and Ohene Djan.
About the Association of Cashew Producers in Ghana
The Association seeks to among other things provide cashew processors of nuts, shells and apples the possibility to advocate for their business interests with one united boss.
The ACPG has at its core a vision for the cashew sector in Ghana, which focuses on “Increasing the competitiveness of the cashew processing industry in Ghana by offering high quality cashew products to the domestic and international market.”
Currently, there are 14 cashew nut processors, a number of kernel roasters and cashew apple processors in Ghana that represent the value-added segment in the cashew value chain. However, only few of these processing businesses are currently operational.