Eleven out of 12 Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN) companies in the country have been closed down due to severe shortage in RCN in Ghana. The situation has been worsened by closure of the Ivorian Border, especially to export of RCN to Ghana. The Managing Director of the only processing firm still in operation the (RCN), MIM Cashew and Agricultural Products Limited (MCAPL), Mr. Joseph Yeung revealed this when the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah visited his firm at Mim in the Asunafo North Municipality of Brong-Ahafo. Mr. Yeung said, MCAPL before the closure of the Ivory Coast Â border, was sourcing 50 per cent of RCN through Sampa, but with its closure, they are forced to purchase Â cashew from Burkina Faso at high cost and more risk. He revealed that, the factory is currently operating at 60 per cent of its instilled capacity with over one thousand employees, saying full scale production requires an additional 600 staff. Other challenges touched by Mr. Yeung are high cost of borrowing, no government assistance, low production of RCN in Ghana and unfair foreign competition in RCN trade in Ghana. He called for the consideration of an outright ban on the export of RCN from Ghana since the nation benefits more from processing, through the jobs created. Â The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Spio Ekow Gargrah speaking to Develop Ghana NewspaperÂ said, he was not aware of the closure of the cashew processing and promised remedial action. He said the merits or demerits of banning the exportation of cashew will have to be assessed to chart the way forward. He added that this was done some time ago in the timber industry with the banning of the export round logs in support of local processing. Dr. Spio Gargrah noted that the closure of the Ivorian border was a strategy by the Ivorian government to stop the exportation of cashew to protect her industries which Ghana could take a cue from.
Source: Mukusah AliÂ Â Biiya/http://newspaper.developghana.com/Â