Ghana’s annual revenue from exporting raw cashew nuts is estimated at 56 million dollars, Mr Joseph Yeung, Managing Director of the Mim Cashew Processing Company, has revealed.
He said value of processed cashew kernels, which is 21 per cent of the 65,000 metric tons of the annual raw cashew produced is also expected to earn the country 102 million dollars.
Mr Yeung, disclosed this when Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry paid a working visit to the company’s plant site at Mim in the Asunafo North Municipality.
He explained Ghana has numerous opportunities from processing cashew nuts and advised the government implement policies that would make the industry attractive for rapid economic transformation and development.
Mr Yeung noted that prior to the border closure by Ivory Coast, the company was able to procure about 50 per cent of raw cashew nuts through Sampa, but now it is forced to purchase nuts from Burkina Faso at high cost and more risk.
He said the company is operating at 60 per cent of its installed capacity and employing more than 1,000 local staff, adding that if it is able to operate fully, the company would require additional 600 staff with a possible income to the community of no less than GH₵ 1,800,000.
Mr Yeung emphasised the need for the government to carry out immediate action to save the “agonising processing industry”, from shutting down, and this he said would be done before the next cashew season in 2016.
“Otherwise the processing industry will be doomed with a huge loss of jobs and revenue to Ghana”.
Mr Yeung said that the current installed cashew processing capacity in the country stands at approximately 70,000 metric tons.
He said the only operational processing this year would only be 5,000 metric tons with 11 out of the 12 existing processors being closed down.
Dr Spio-Garbrah, advised the cashew processing companies to meet and come out with recommendations that would guide the government to design and implement policies to enhance the sector.
He commended the company for the job opportunity it has created for the local people, and assured management that government would ensure that the cashew industry is revived to create more jobs. GNA