Assessing the feasibility and potential contributions of cashew as a cash crop for rural farmers in Northern Region: A case study of Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District in the Northern Region of Ghana

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In the Northern part of Ghana, most people engage in agriculture as their main source of earning a living. Farmers in the north of Ghana produce mainly food crops such as yams, millet, Guinea-corn and maize which contributes little to their income levels. On the other hand, local farmers in the southern part of Ghana produce cash crops especially cocoa in addition to food crops. This differences in crops production have created a persistent income disparity among farmers in the north and those in the southern part of Ghana. The research sought to assess the potential contribution of cashew production in the northern part of Ghana as a cash crop through a case study in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District. The study revealed that on average, a cashew farmer in the study area could earn above GHC 2,000 per harvest during the cashew season. This would be enough to improve their income levels. Also, the most pressing challenges faced by cashew farmers include the following: labor unavailability; unstable cashew prices; land scarcity, lack of capital for investment, bush fire, and theft. Lessons from the cocoa sector that could be integrated into the cashew value chain include regulation of cashew by COCOBOD; technology such artificial pollination, mass spraying and the use of machines for spraying; and finally, agriculture extension services To resolve these challenges, the MoFA at the district level should be provided with resources to train more agriculture agronomists. Social enterprises such in the form of microfinance could be established to provide cashew farmers with credit facilities.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2019
cashew, Ghana, agriculture, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District, COCOBOD