Cashew farmers in the Jaman North District are losing interest in the cultivation of the cash crop because of poor purchasing price for the commodity.
They are therefore appealing to government to intervene by facilitating the establishment of a purchasing agency to ensure locally guaranteed price as pertaining for cocoa and shea butter.
Nana Kwame Siey, Chairman of Jaman North Cashew Farmers Association, Nana Kwadwo Magsah II, Acting President of Sampa Traditional Council and Mr Pascal Sie, a cashew farmer and opinion leader, made the appeal when speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Sampa the district capital on Tuesday.
Nana Siey said their economic fate was in the hands of some Indian merchants who had built big warehouses at various places in Sampa to store the commodity and argued that if it was not a profitable business those merchants would not be staying in the area to buy the produce directly for export.
He said the price per kilogramme for the crop was GHC1.30 in 2011, reduced to GHC1.20 in 2012 and since January-February this year the price had been reducing gradually to 40GHp per kilogramme currently.
Nana Sie stated that cashew farmers in Cote d’Ivoire produced the crop abundantly and transported them to Sampa, a marketing centre for Indian merchants after they had negotiated with cashew farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.
He alleged that the Indian merchants were transacting cashew business in Ghana because it was assisting them to avoid higher charges and export duties at the port in Cote d’Ivoire.
Nana Siey said the merchants were taking advantage of the local cashew farmers and the country despite the fact that cashew produced in Ghana was better in quality than that produced in Cote d’Ivoire.
He said due to the inferior quality of their cashew, farmers in Cote d’Ivoire reduced the price for the Indian merchants to the detriment of their counterparts in Ghana and that the situation had affected most of the local farmers financially.