Ghana shall in September host the African Cashew Alliance’s (ACA) World Cashew Festival and Expo to help players in the industry develop the value-chain process.
The four-day programme to begin on the 16th September, is expected to provide a platform for cashew farmers, processors, traders, exporters, service providers, retailers, equipment manufacturers, bankers and other stakeholders to fashion out innovative ways to improve and sustain the industry.
A statement signed by Xénia Défontaine, Public Relations Manager of the African Cashew Alliance and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday, said the Festival would provide the platform for participants to interact and exchange ideas on international best practices.
The festival is on the theme: “Value Chain and Gains-Focusing on the Potential to Leverage Profit in Each Sector of the Cashew Industry and in New Markets.”
The statement said there were innovative ways of exploring business prospects in the cashew industry stressing that farmers could discover new markets by adding beekeeping or producing cashew-apple juice.
“Processors can repurpose the raw cashew shell by selling it to producers of cashew nut shell liquid or husk for dying clothes,” it said.
The statement said even cashew breakages which has been described as a major challenge in the industry could be used to produce gluten free milk as well as vegetarian bean and nut burgers.
“Both farmers and processors can increase their sales by meeting internationally recognized quality, food safety, and social and labour standards,” it said.
The statement said an increase in the consumption of African cashew would boost emerging markets and offer huge business potential to local and foreign investors.
Ghana is said to have produced more than 20,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts in the year 2012, with its production largely centered in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The country is considered to be the hub for trading cashews from neighbouring countries, including Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. In total, almost 80,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nut was exported in 2011. On the processors side, Ghana has an installed processing capacity of about 18,000 metric tonnes.
Formerly neglected as an important force in cashew business, the African cashew sector has become a highly visible contributor during the last 10 years.
With a yield of more than one million tons of raw cashew nut in 2012, representing 45 per cent of the world’s total crop, Africa is now the world’s largest producer of raw cashew nut.
Between 2011 and 2012 processing had increased from 82,000 tonnes to 114,600 tonnes and continues to show rising tendencies with a promising prospect for investor interest worldwide.
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