Two cashew nut researchers have called on cashew producers to utilise improved planting materials and seedlings to increase Africa’s production rate of the crop.

The researchers, Dr Paul Adu-Gyamfi and Professor Peter Masawe made this call on a panel discussion at the 14th annual African Cashew Alliance (ACA) cashew conference, Friday, on the topic: ‘Research Efforts to Obtain Marketable Raw Nuts and Kernel.’

According to Dr Adu-Gyamfi, a research scientist at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), utilizing improved cashew seedlings, planting materials, as well as certified fertilizers, will increase the rate and quality of cashew in Ghana.

He believed this will also increase the demand for cashew from Africa thereby increasing income of actors of the cashew industry, especially farmers.

“The utilization of improved cashew planting materials together with the recommended plant protection and production packages is critical to obtaining marketable raw cashew nuts and kernel,” he said.

He indicated that his outfit has successfully developed superior cashew clones, polyclonal cashew varieties and has identified biological and chemical control methods for major pests, through the use of ANA fingerprinting technologies.

According to him, CRIG has formulated improved fertilizers which yield nuts with higher outturns and in turn give higher profitability. He called on producers in Ghana and in Africa to utilize these improved materials.

On his part, independent cashew consultant and researcher, Prof. Masawe, said the cashew tree has great economic importance in Africa, calling on producers to endeavor to use quality seedlings in other to increase production.

He believed research was very key in developing the cashew industry in Africa and expressed hope from the fact that many cashew producing countries are strengthening their cashew research.   

The 14th annual ACA cashew conference was held from Wednesday, 9th September to Friday 11th September 2020.

The conference is an annual conference which brings onboard experts and industry players across the world to learn, share experiences, and address major issues concerning production, processing and consumption of cashew in Africa and beyond.

This year’s cashew conference was originally scheduled to be hosted by Ghana but had to be held fully online due to the outbreak of Covid 19. The 15th edition of the annual conference will still be held physically in Ghana in September next year.