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Sierra Leone News: Cashew industry to develop implementation plan

Improving farm yield is not enough to lift families and communities out of poverty but the need to change the systems in which key players operate is equally essential. The cashew sector in Sierra Leone is such example, despite its potential benefits to contribute to the country’s economy, there is little information and strategic orientation on the sector. As way to enhance value chain for a competitiveness and increase of cashew exportation, the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday engaged farmers, private sector and other stakeholders in cashew production on the cashew chain policy implementation plan. The implementation plan, according to Aisie-nana Williams, national consultant, cashew policy, Ministry of Agriculture is to translate priority issues of cashew policy into strategies. Williams further explained that policy implementation plans look into key issues within the value chain that affects key players. This, she pointed out, includes what happens at the farm level, farmers access to knowledge that enhance productivity inputs and creating sustainable growth that can provide opportunities for increasing economic benefits for players within the industry. Describing Sierra Leone as a baby in cashew industry in the international market, Williams pointed out the huge wastage of cashew production in the country. She noted that the policy has been developed has a major step to give a guideline as to foster the cashew sector adding that the implementation plan will enable policy to be a working document. Explaining the economic benefits attached to cashew, Williams said that cashew plays a major role in the country’s GDP, creates employment and supports climate change smart agriculture. She further spoke on the nutritional and health values of cashews pointing out the overall objective of reducing poverty, ensuring food security through better governance, improved living conditions and higher incomes in Sierra Leone.

SV/13/11/18

By Sylvia Villa

Wednesday November 14, 2018.

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