The German Development Cooperation/Competitive Cashew initiative (GIZ/ComCashew) Master Training Programme (MTP) has trained 728 cashew experts since its launch in 2014.
The experts from 18 countries were trained on technical topics across the Cashew Value Chain (CVC) Promotion in Africa.
Ms Rita Weidinger, the Executive Director of GIZ/ComCashew, said this at the opening of the MTP 11th Edition’s second session on CVC promotion in Sunyani.
The five-day programme jointly organised by the GIZ/ComCashew and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with support from the African Cashew Alliance (ACA) and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
It was attended by 60 cashew experts from across Ghana “to share knowledge, discuss best practices and lessons learnt as well as to build networks for future collaboration”.
Ms Weidinger said ComCashew had also trained more than 600,000 farmers in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Sierra Leone since 2009.
She said ComCashew’s and the Ghana Skills Development Initiative had upgraded the skills of 130 Training Providers from Agricultural Training Institutions in Ghana on cashew.
She said the move was in line with the implementation of a cashew curriculum in agricultural institutions as part of an Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) programme.
Ms Weidinger expressed appreciation to the MoFA and the government for steps being taken towards sector regulation of Ghana’s tree crops.
She said the GIZ/ComCashew was eager for the operationalisation of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority Act, (Act 1010), 2019 which would allow for the regulation of cashew and other tree crops.
She also lauded the involvement of the Ghana Commodity Exchange for more organised cashew trading as “a step in the right direction.”
Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, the Director of Crop Services MoFA, said through the implementation of the Ministry’s flagship Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme, cashew farmers were being supported with more than 2 million improved planting materials.
Nurseries, he added, were also being established while sub-sector actors were undergoing technical capacity building programmes.
Mr Osei-Akoto said with the support of GIZ/ComCashew, MoFA and CRIG were establishing scion banks with the capacity to produce 2 million scions annually in the Central, Upper West, Oti, Volta, Savanna and Bono East Regions.