Nana Kwadwo Magsah II, acting President of the Sampa Traditional Council in the Jaman North District, has appealed to the government to establish a marketing agency for the purchase of cashew produced in the country.
He expressed worry that the cashew industry, the main economic stay of people in the Jaman North, was not receiving the needed government support for the marketing of the cash crop.
Nana Magsah made the appeal on Friday during a courtesy call on the Council by Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, the Regional Minister and his entourage at Sampa.
Mr Aidoo was at the palace to introduce himself to the chiefs and people of the area as part of his one-day project inspection tour of the Jaman North and South Districts.
The Chief said lives of the people, particularly farmers in the District solely depended on the production of the crop but they were producing at great losses because private buying companies and individuals determined the price per kilo to them.
Nana Magsah, also Chief of the Adonten Division of the Sampa Traditional Area, said they were at the mercy of the buyers who sometimes dictated the price of the commodity to as low as GH¢0.50 ( fifty Pesewas) per kilo instead of the usual GH¢1.00.
“This is because without them we have no other avenue to market the produce for fair reasonable prices”, he explained and stressed the need for a government purchasing agency as it pertains to the Cocoa and Coffee industry.
Nana Magsah said tonnes of cashew were transported to the nation’s ports for export all year round, explaining that the purchasing companies were buying at a very discouraging price from them because they could not process the crop to any meaningful use in the area.
The Chief recalled there was a time a kilo of the commodity was being bought at GH¢1.50 and this drove many into the cultivation of the crop.
It is time for government’s intervention with the establishment of a buying agency to buy the commodity for us to have a fair deal, stressing that “the cashew farmers are all languishing in abject poverty because of low income”.
Mr Aidoo, in response, said government had decided to wean itself of the buying and marketing of cash crops because of the challenges and problems associated with that responsibility.
The Regional Minister urged the farmers to form co-operatives and associations to have not only a stronger bargaining power to negotiate for fair purchasing price of the commodity but to also encourage competition in the cashew industry.
Mr Aidoo and his entourage including Mr Felix Chaahaah, the Regional Co-ordinating Director and Chief Director at the Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Robert Ayalingo later called on the Traditional authorities of Suma at Suma Ahenkro and Sekatia, all in the Jaman North before calling on the Dwenem-Awasu, Drobo and Mpuasu-Japekrom Traditional Authorities also in the Jaman South.