Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday launched a 10-year Cashew Development Plan aimed at diversifying Ghana’s agricultural sector.
The Ghanaian President bemoaned the over-reliance of the country on the production and export of cocoa, in contrast with the situation neighboring Cote d’Ivoire.
Cote d’Ivoire has succeeded in diversifying its agriculture, which included the production and export of other cash crops.
The country earned some $12 billion from the export of agricultural produce in 2015.
“To that end, I reiterated my commitment to assist in diversifying Ghanaian agriculture, and transforming, amongst others, cashew into a major cash crop and foreign exchange earner for Ghana. This morning’s event, ladies and gentlemen, is the beginning of the realization of this vision,” the Ghanaian President said.
Ghana has also rolled out a policy called the ”Planting for Food and Jobs”, which Akufo-Addo said led to an increase in the production of staples, as well as the creation of thousands of jobs in the rural economy.
“The Programme is expanding its focus not only to the production of staples but also to the development and production of some selected crops such as cashew, oil palm, rubber, shea, cotton and coffee, for good reason,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said “I urge the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, our Members of Parliament, farmers, and the private sector to do everything possible to support the Cashew Development Programme. This, together with the other programmes for other selected export crops, would drive industrialization in rural Ghana, diversify agricultural exports, and provide the needed jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth of this country.”