GHANA – As part of its 10-year Cashew Development Plan, Ghana has developed a Code of Practice for Cashew Planting Material Production that will enable nurseries to produce quality seedlings.
The Code of Practice (CoP) is the fruit of an alliance between the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty.
MENA is currently implementing a 6-year project in the tree crop sector of Ghana christened “the Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEATS) Project”, courtesy of funding from the Canadian government.
The CoP defines the minimum standards for cashew planting material production and also sets out the framework for good nursery practice for production of planting material in Ghana.
It also defines essential elements for development of best practices for cashew planting material production. It is expected that when the Code is adopted, it will aid nursery operators to produce healthy cashew planting materials in Ghana.
Key stakeholders from Ghana’s cashew industry were sensitized on the CoP at the GSA Head Office in Accra. Among stakeholders present at the sensitization program on the CoP were representatives from the ministries, departments and agencies of the Ghanaian Government as well as non-governmental organizations.
“MEDA is delighted that through funding from Global Affairs of Canada, we are making lasting contribution to support Ghana’s cashew industry.
“We note with satisfaction that even before the Code is available to the public, 23 small cashew nurseries in Ghana who have worked with the MEDA-FEATS project over the last four years are already employing the recommended practices as outlined in the Code of Practice,” said Robert Austin, MEDA Ghana Country Director in a statement at the sensitization program.
He explicated that the FEATS project’s support for small cashew nurseries to produce quality seedlings was aligned to Ghana’s 10-year Cashew Development Plan (2017-2027).
According to Mr. Austin, FEATS has supported small cashew nurseries to produce and distribute about five million seedlings to farmers.
Ghana’s 10-year Cashew Development Plan seeks to increase its cashew production of 80,000MT in 2018 to over 300,000MT within 10 years. Thus, the FEATS Project’s objective of supporting the production of about five million quality seedlings is therefore very much in line with the 10-year Cashew Development Plan.
In a speech read on behalf of Prof. Alex Dodoo, the Director General of the GSA, the Director of the Standards Directorate of the GSA Joyce Okoree, lauded MEDA for the continuous support for Ghana’s cashew industry, as reported by Ghana News. She observed that the timeliness of the Code of Practice could not be overemphasized.
In turn, the Chairman of GSA’s Technical Committee on the development of the Code Bernard Boateng, indicated that the current Code of Practice deals specifically with cashew planting materials in Ghana.
He was optimistic that the Code would help to organize the cashew sector in Ghana and lead to safe and profitable cashew farming.