President of the West Gonja chapter of the Cooperative Cashew Farmers and Marketing Union Mr Iddrisu Sumani Azambuja has lashed out at some allied middlemen in the cashew business exploiting cashew farmers in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region.
Mr Sumani in a press release said the low prices these middlemen hide behind the value chain to offer to cashew farmers in the municipality for their many years of suffering in the farms must end.
He said it is regrettable that cashew farmers in the municipality were currently being paid as low as GHc2 to GHc3 per kilogram of raw cashew nuts against the minimum price set by the minister somewhere December,2021.
“Friends from to the media, it is disgusting to point out that cashew farmers in our municipality after toiling many years to take care of the tree crops are offered between GHc2 and GHc3 per kilo of raw cashew nuts purchased and same is sold to exporters at a rate above Ghc7 per kilo”; he explained.
He added that cashew farmers in the Municipality are compelled by pressing social needs to sell the raw cashew nuts to these allied middlemen at any price offered,a situation he stated is discouraging many farmers especially the youth from venturing into cashew farming in the municipality.
According to Mr Iddrisu Sumani the Minister for Food and Agriculture Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto in 2021 announced the minimum price of raw cashew nuts to be GHc5 per kilogram and cautioned all buyers not to offer any price below the minimum price at farm gates accross all cashew growing areas in Ghana.
Mr Sumani therefore called for unity among cashew farmers in the municipality to come together in one voice in increasing bargaining power through the cashew union for a guaranteed price.
The President of the West Gonja chapter of the Cooperative Cashew Farmers and Marketing Union therefore used the opportunity to appeal to the Regional and Municipal Agric Directorates to help build the capacity of cashew farmers in the union, especially in the areas of pricing and marketing adding that legal actions would be taken against any middlemen who will attempt to exploit cashew farmers through the backdoor and non cooperative members henceforth.