7:45, 26.Sep 2016
General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has hailed moves by the government to develop cashew cultivation in the country.
According to him, no country can develop based on mono-cropping, therefore any efforts to develop cashew alongside cocoa in Ghana is very apt.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 launched a 10-year development plan for cashew cultivation in the country.
According to the president, cashew, together with other selected crops, can create wealth and jobs for Ghanaians.
Mr Akufo-Addo, said: “This, together with other programmes of other selected export crops, will drive industrialisation in rural Ghana, diversify agricultural products and provide the needed jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth of this country”.
He also urged industry players to capitalise on the opportunities in the value chain of the crop and make it beneficial to farmers.
“I will urge the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to incorporate in this plan policies and interventions that will create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport and packaging of cashew, which will ensure that our cashew farmers earn higher income,” the president said.
Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson on the Ghana Yensom show on Accra100.5FM, Mr Nketia, who is also a former Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture indicated that the focus on cashew crop will not lead to the neglect of the cocoa sector.
He said: “Cashew planting is very good. No country can depend on mono-crop to develop. I don’t think the focus on cashew will lead to the neglect of the cocoa sector.”
However, some farmers believe the government intends to focus on cashew cultivation at the expense of cocoa.
Nana Opambour, President of the Concerned Farmers Association of Ghana, speaking on the same show said: “It appears the government wants to neglect the cocoa sector to focus on cashew. This is very bad for the economy.
“For us the farmers we think the president must sack his minister Dr Afriyie. The minister does not consult stakeholders before taking decisions for the agric sector.”
Mr Nketia however agreed with the calls for the dismissal of the Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
He said: “I have also held the view that he should be sacked following his comments on the invasion of the army worm on farms. He told the whole world the problem had been defeated at the time problem was still affecting farms.”