An NGO specialised in the forestry and environmental sector has boosted cashew production in the West Gonja Municipality in the Savannah Region.
Tree Aid has distributed of 48,973 cashew seedlings to benefit 1,225 cashew farmers comprising of 125 females and 1,100 males.
The management of the NGO with its Ghana country office at Tamale as part of its environmental interventions to the rural poor is targeting to support 3,000 farmers with 90,000 grafted cashew seedlings from 2019 to 2022.
Tree Aid will be distributing grafted cashew seedlings to farmers in some 10 communities and train them on tree planting, cashew orchard management and best practices in nursery management.
At a ceremony in Soalepe, a suburb of West Gonja Municipality, the project officer, Botir Heinno Eric said the project seeks to create jobs for women and youth.
It is also to improve food and income security for the rural poor households through integrated management hence, improve cashew and legumes yields in an intercrop system that will also enhance beekeeping value chains among others.
The implementation of the three-year grace project which is funded by DFID will largely address challenges associated with cashew smallholder Farmers in agrarian agriculture communities.
Mr Botir added “here, the grace project also intends to reach its goal through the development of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) enterprise groups with a business approach by strengthening value chain linkages around cashew nuts, cashew apple, honey and legumes whilst protecting the environment.
“To achieve this, the project is collaborating with the Department of Agriculture in the West Gonja Municipality which has the mandate to promote agricultural activities to ensure food and income security through value addition and value chain approaches.
“It has supported the project with technical support to establish three local nurseries in Soalepe, Sori#1 and Larabanga communities all in the Municipality with a target of 30,000 grafted cashew seedlings for each nursery site,” he stated.
He added, “Savannah region has a conducive environment for cashew cultivation and the collaboration has led to the training of project beneficiaries to identify and support the setup or upgrade of three local nurseries, train and support on grafting cashew seedlings, planting and maintenance for the nursery staff.
The training of some 500 lead Farmers on orchard management, sustainable agricultural practices and Climate Smart agriculture will also replicate the training to 2,500 colleagues’ smallholder cashew farmers.
On his part, the West Gonja Municipal Director of agriculture, Peter Claver Anyeembey lauded the NGO.
“This will complement government’s planting for export and rural development (PERD) intervention. The Department will continue to collaborate with Tree Aid to realise the full objective of the project and we will ensure that farmers plant the cashew according to recommended spacing “.
Two Farmers, Seidu Fati of Larabanga Community and Osman Abukari of Sori#1 on behalf of their colleagues thanked the NGO for their intervention.
They said it helps them earn money to feed their families.