The outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana has affected the local cashew Industry in the Jaman North Municipality of the Bono Region forcing some out of production.
According to cashew farmers, their customers who are mostly outside the region have ceased buying their produce because of the outbreak of the pandemic.
One of such is the Kabile Cashew Cooperative located at Kabile which processes cashew and sells to clients in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.
Joseph Saa Mensah, owner of Kabile Cashew Cooperative tells Citi Business News, the impact of COVID-19 on the business has decreased production.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has decreased our productivity. Now we don’t have seed capital to buy raw material to process. Some people from Europe wanted to buy some raw materials for processing but because of our situation we couldn’t get it to them so, we lost the contract,” he said.
Clement Anane, the Secretary of the National Cashew Farmers Association of Ghana also states that apart from low sales, the price of cashew has also fallen at an all-time low.
“The COVID pandemic has affected our sales in the sense that the old buyers closed their depots. So, the farmers are unable to sell some of the produce and some people were taking advantage of them to buy it at as low as GHS2. This is disheartening because our breakeven point is GHS,” he said.
The Director of the Department of Crop Services of the Ministry of Food And Agriculture, Seth Osei Akoto speaking at the opening of the 11th Edition of the Master Training Programme on Cashew Value Chain Promotion organised by GIZ and ComCashew also noted that government is still committed to ensuring the growth of the Cashew industry despite the negative effect on the sector by COVID-19.
“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has engaged several stakeholders to craft measures to help respond to the pandemic and design post-COVID interventions,” he said.