The national association of cashew farmers has called on the government to take immediate intervening actions to ensure that buying agents do businesses with fair and accurate prices to the farmers.
The association said farmers of the tree crop were unhappy with the prices of the dry nut “dictated” to them by the buying agents, therefore pleading to the government to step in to stabilise the prices just like that of cocoa for the development of the tree crop industry.
Mr. Clement Anane, the national secretary of the cashew farmers association made the appeal in a phone interview with this reporter, saying, the farmers of the tree crop are always vulnerable to resistance over the years, hence, the buyers always come with any unfair prices which are totally discouraging.
He said the Global average price of the cashew nut “Seven Dollars and Five Cent ($7.05) per kilogram”.
The amount is equivalent to Forty Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 40.00) per kilogram but the nut is being bought as low as between two and five Ghana Cedis in some areas in the country, particularly most districts in the Bono Region.
Mr. Anane, also the secretary for the Jaman North cashew farmers association said considering the input cost in the cashew production, foreign exchange rate, World commodity trend, and other necessary factors, the farmers and the associations have decided a base price of Eight Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 8.00) and is equivalent to One Dollar and Thirty Cent ($1.30) per kilogram for the 2020 crop seasons.
He said the leadership of the farming associations nationwide is working in hand with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to ensure that all cashew measurement scales are calibrated and certified by the GSA.
This, the general secretary noted that could avoid cheating of farmers by the buying agents, ensure fair prices system and also enhanced the effective operations of the tree crop authority for the economic improvement of the country.
Mr. Anane entreated that cashew has become a national commodity following the passage into Law Ghana Tree Crop Act, therefore implored farmers to assist the leadership of the associations and the GSA to get names of buying companies and agents using uncertified scales for the cashew businesses so that the law would immediately take its course.
Speaking to the GSA, Mrs. Xaviera Ulla Tawiah, the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions Director said “using measurement instruments which are false or unjust, not authorised, not marked or certified, not verified, not stamped or authenticated is an offence under the Weighing and Measurement Act 1975, NRCD 326.
Stressing that, scales calibration at all areas of agricultural business is pivotal in the agricultural sector development because it improves productivity for the economic growth of the nation.
By: Christopher Tetteh