Income and Employment Opportunities through Cashew Apples Processing in Ghana
GM Farm and Consultancy, Ghana
Most of the world’s cashew harvest comes from Africa. In, 2018, Africa produced 57% of the world’s volume of cashew which translates to over 15 million MT of cashew apples which is mainly not utilised. The income levels of most cashew farmers tend to be low. Notwithstanding, the potential for creating jobs, achieving higher incomes, improving food and nutrition from growing and processing cashew by-products has not yet been fully harnessed in Africa. Cashew apples, have high nutritional value (five times the vitamin C in oranges) which can be processed into products such as juices, candies, marmalade, jams, jellies etc. but Ghanaian farmers do not have any commercial use for cashew apples. It is anticipated that the crop will increase from its current 90,000 to 400,000 metric tonnes in 10 years meaning more cashew apples will go to waste. The cashew value chain in Ghana is mainly about producing raw cashew nuts (RCN) and exporting to overseas. Only a small percentage of the RCN is processed and marketed within Ghana. Cashew apples is virtually non-existence in the cashew value chain in Ghana. The upgrading of cashew value chain in Ghana with the introduction of cashew apple products will increase the incomes of cashew farmers and women entrepreneurs who would be trained and help to setup up cottage industries for cashew processing, create employment and also consumers will enjoy the high nutritious content of cashew apples. Processing the cashew apples can provide a platform for the economic empowerment of women especially in rural areas. A social enterprise would be established to train women on technical and entrepreneurial skills in processing cashew apples into jams, juice, marmalade and candies. The women would be supported with capital (equipment for processing) through donor funding. The social enterprise will also establish a profit-making processing unit for cashew apples.
Keywords: Cashew apples, Ghana, women entrepreneurs
Contact Address: George Asare, GM Farm and Consultancy, Accra, Ghana, e-mail: goasaregmail.com