About twenty agricultural extension agents (AEAs) in the Tain District have been trained by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Ghana to assist farmers with new agricultural technologies, as part of efforts towards ensuring proper cashew production and improving yields under the Bono Asante Atea (BAAT) project.
The project is expected to increase farmer’s incomes, create more employment in the cashew sector, and increase knowledge on cashew production.
The agricultural extension officers were tasked to train and assist farmers on new and improved agricultural practices for them to adapt to.
They were to also do periodic visits to farms to offer technical support, supervise farmers’ field operations, and educate them on practical and simple sets of technologies which would improve yields.
The Director for Agriculture and Food Security ADRA-Ghana, Mr. Samuel Asante-Mensah, said that cashew is one of the country’s stable cash crops that if properly managed, can help farmers improve upon their lives.
Mr. Asante Mensah said to enhance effective picking of the nuts, farmers must be encouraged to rake their farms.
“Farmers can make more money with cashew nut farming, especially if they have a great cashew farming business plan. The most important thing is to stick to tried and tested cashew tips,” he advised.
The Project Manager, ADDRA-Ghana, Dr. Anthony Manu, said five ways that can help improve yields are pruning, spraying of the their farms to control diseases and pets, manuring and fertilisation, weeds control, and effective nuts control.
He, therefore, urged farmers to adhere to these practices to increase their yields to sustain their livelihoods.
The acting District Director of Agriculture, Mr. Joseph Lan Dorsaa, noted that the programme would help farmers to improve their knowledge on cashew farming in the district.
He urged the AEAs to show commitment in the work and be abreast with information to educate the farmers well, so as to ensure the sustainability of the project.