European Union  prioritises sustainable production, economic growth of cashew sector

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Ms Paulina Rozycka, the Head of Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, European Union (EU) in Ghana, says sustainable production and economic growth of the cashew sector is of high priority to the Union. 

 Thus, the EU would provide the needed support towards the development and implementation of transformative policies in partner countries to ensure economic growth.

Ms Rozycka, who was speaking at the sixth Council of Ministers’ Conference of the Consultative International Cashew Council (CICC), said the EU recognised the economic and environmental potential on the cashew value chain.

The conference was under the theme: “Projecting the Cashew Sector through local Consumption, Value Addition and Job Creation”.

It brought together ministers, experts, researchers and stakeholders from eleven African countries to share experiences, identify gaps and marshal efforts in promoting the cashew industry.

“The EU is very interested to see a thriving processing hub in Africa, closely linked to European Markets and guided by inclusiveness and sustainability principles, maximising revenues and jobs for African Nations” - Ms Rozycka said.

“Beyond, Cashew has the potential to spearhead and set an example for an agro-industry based on agroecological principles. This is the spirit of the EU Cashew Initiative which is in the making.”

She noted that the EU was set to frame the European Interventions in the sector in a Team Europe Spirit and closely aligned it to partner countries’ interests.

“We don’t start from zero. The EU is the main donor of the GIZ implemented Move-ComCashew Programme. We salute its 15 years of engagement and its key contribution to the dynamic sector that Cashew is today in Africa,” she said.

Ms Rozycka noted that the ComCashew was embedded in the larger AgroBusiness Facility for Resilient Value Chains, Co-Funded by the EU (43.8 million EUR) and the German Ministry of Cooperation (12.2 million EUR).

One year on under the programme, she said the editions 16 and 17 of the GIZ-ACA (African Cashew Alliance) Master Training Programme were training dozens of experts in Ghana from 20 African countries.

Ms Rozycka noted that 30 private sector partners, among them, cooperatives, processors and distributors, had been selected to receive a Matching Grant Fund in 11 different countries, four from Ghana.

She said the grant was mobilising around 6.5 million EUR to address the “missing middle” actors to reach formal finance or to develop some inclusive or sustainable aspects of the value chain.

She commended Ghana and welcomed the recent approval of the Tree Crops Regulation, which aims at enhancing competitiveness, productivity, profitability, and sustainability of tree crop sectors, notably Cashew.

The CICC members are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.

Established on the 18th November, 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the CICC aims to create a consultation framework and synergies between member states for a sustainable cashew sector.

Africa’s cashew industry has come up strongly in recent years as one with great potential and one that can significantly contribute to the economic growth of the continent.

About 60 per cent of the world’s global raw cashew nuts are produced in Africa, with Cote d’Ivoire being the world’s leading producer, producing nearly one million tons in 2021.

GNA

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