Cashew, five other tree crops now regulated by Tree Crop Development Authority

Production, processing, and trading of cashew and five other tree crops will now be regulated and coordinated by the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA).  This follows the official inauguration of the Authority by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo on Tuesday, 29th September 2020 in Kumasi.


The Authority, established by the Tree Crop Development Authority Act, 2019 (Act 1010), is now the regulatory body for six tree crops: Cashew, Shea, Mango, Coconut, rubber, and oil palm in Ghana and is mandated to identify and develop a sustainable source of funding to promote and support the development of the tree crops industry.   


Speaking at the official inauguration ceremony, the President said the establishment of the Authority is part of concerted efforts by government and major stakeholders to diversify Ghana’s economy, particularly the agricultural sector considering the country’s overdependence on cocoa over the past seven decades.


According to him, Ghana is endowed with a number of cash crops currently in high demand on the world market and can contribute enormously to the economic growth of the country.

“Our strategy is to promote the development of tree crops, either than cocoa, to equal or even higher economic potential,” he said. He believed cashew and the other selected tree crops have the economic potential to increase Ghana’s agricultural earnings “exponentially”.     


He was confident that the TCDA will be in the best legal position to regulate and get the best out of the six selected tree crops, and eventually to also cover Coffee. Like the Ghana Cocoa Board, the TCDA, according to the president, will “put in place programs to guide research, production, pricing, and marketing of the six tree crops”. He stated that systematic efforts have been made by the Government to secure funding for the Authority.


On his part, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, said with the TCDA fully constituted and operational, Ghana is now closer to reaping the full benefits possible from the tree crop sector. According to the minister, by the year 2028, when the TCDA would have been deeply grounded, the tree crops industry should be earning a minimum of USD 16bn in annual income.


Beyond the economic significance, the minister stressed that the TCDA will contribute significantly to environmental preservation, explaining that the Authority will not compromise on the best environmental practices in the production and processing of the crops.


Speaking on the sideline of the ceremony, Managing Director of the African Cashew Alliance, Ernest Mintah, expressed gratification that the TCDA has finally been inaugurated. According to him, the inauguration of the Authority comes at a time when Ghana’s cashew sector is making significant progress in becoming a major producer of the crop in the world and a leader in local processing in West Africa. He was confident that the Authority will accelerate the growth of the cashew sector to its rightful place.

“It is also very important that we look at the many opportunities the establishment of this Authority will create for the ordinary citizen, especially women and the youth who are into the production of cashew, shea, and the other tree crops, and who also serve as employees of the processing factories in these sectors. Effective policies and regulations will now be determined by the Authority for the benefit of the farmers, buyers, and processors,” he added.    


The Tree Crop Development Authority is governed by a 29-member, private sector-led Board, and will be chaired by seasoned banker, Mr. Stephen Sekyere Abankwah, who, according to Ghana’s President, has deep experience in commodity development and financing. Hon. William Quaitoo will be the Authority’s first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Each of the six selected tree crop sectors has four members represented on the board, contributing to 24 out of the 29 members of the Board.