MIM Cashew & Agricultural Products Limited has expressed misgivings about the recent directive issued by the Ministry Of Trade and Industry (MoTI) on Raw Cashew Nut export in the country.
The leading cash processing company said the directive was unfair, badly timed and one sided to the entire cash industry.
In a statement issued by the MIM Cashew & Agricultural Products Limited to react to the ministry’s directive, it noted that there were 12 processors in operation prior to June, 2014, 10 of which were owned by Ghanaians and two foreign owned. But only one remained in operation in 2015 with an extra new comer.
It stated that in thriving cashew processing industry, every 5,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts exported is no more than USD5 million. If the same volume is processed in Ghana, it will provide USD8.5 million as foreign currency into the country, the statement stressed.
“In addition, there will be approximately 1,200 workers required to process the 5,000 metric tonnes. The minimum income to the 1,200 family will be GHS4,200,000 and Ghana Revenue Authority will receive GHS200,000 in the form of income tax.
Ghana produces 60,000 metric tonnes of Raw Cashew Nuts, the benefit to process this in Ghana is enormous, 12 times the figure stated above.”
On Uncontrolled Export of Raw Cashew Nuts, MIM indicated that the result of this as 85% of the processors were forced to close down, with thousands of badly needed jobs vanished.
“As we noticed in the Directive, every player is allowed to purchase the Raw Cashew Nuts without any state intervention. The Raw Nuts are to remain in the country until a certain time, this gives the local processors a chance to purchase the nuts, from the traders as well.
We experienced this during the period when the Directive was in force, we received 10 times more than our usual in-take of Raw Cashew Nuts.”
At the same time, the leading cash nuts processing company maintained the price as before the introduction of the directive. This is a real example of the benefit and purpose of the Export Window, it noted.
The MIM used the opportunity to restate its position on the latest issues raised by Parliament which are: There is never a case of the processors monopolizing the purchase of the Raw Cashew Nuts.
During the period of the Directive, everyone involved in the procurement are still buying and the competition remain very strong;
Export Window leading to drop in prices –The price reduction raised in the Parliament is definitely not from us, the processors. This GHS2.50 per kilo mentioned is totally unrealistic and is clearly introduced by the traders with the view to create the fear to the farmers.
We have announced in and around the entire cashew belt where we are buying from that we maintain the current price of GHS4.00 per kilo at farm gate; and
In the Cashew Industry, all parties to the value chain are important partners. If there is loss of income and hardship for farmers, the industry will lose the supply of the only raw material in the chain, then there will be no industry left to speak about.
Ghana is not the first country that introduces the similar policy. All the cashew producing countries are having some kind of policy to encourage/promote processing as the benefit of processing is all very clear to see.”
The most successful country in this industry is Kenya where the processing capacity exceeds the production of raw cashew nuts leading to total export ban on raw cashew nuts, averring that there is clear evidence that policies introduced by all the other countries do not lead to loss of income and hardship for farmers, statement stated.