Success Story

Implementation of Good Agricultural Practices to Improve the Income of Raw Cashew Nut Producers: Using the String Separation Method to Guarantee Good Cashew Nut Quality

Anyima, a village in the Kintampo South District of the Bono East region in Ghana, is renowned as a community dedicated to cashew cultivation. Traditionally, farmers have harvested cashews by simply removing the nut from the fruit by hand. However, this manual approach has led to suboptimal harvests and deteriorating postharvest quality, even despite the adoption of proper drying procedures. Moreover, the process can be painful due to the acidic residue released from the cashew nut which can result in injury to the thumbnails and palms.

In response to these challenges, Anyima cashew producers were invited to a specialized training on the harvest and post-harvest management of raw cashews, conducted in December 2022 by the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew project. Producers like Effah Yaw John exemplify the positive impact of this intervention. With 28 years of experience, Effah had been employing traditional harvest methods since he initially learned about cashew cultivation in Liberia, but with limited success.

“Following the training session in December 2022, I have started using a metal string to detach the cashew apple from the nut. This has yielded remarkable improvements. We now obtain higher-quality nuts without fruit remnants, which translates to increased earnings as buyers offer better prices for such produce. Additionally, the drying process has been shortened to just two or three days from the previous five it took when detaching the nut manually and dealing with the fruit residue. Moreover, the efficiency of the process has improved, and we are able to  detach 100 kilograms of nuts per day. The use of strings has led to cleaner hands, free from stains and residue, which is better for our health.”

PRO-Cashew helps producers aiming to improve their productivity access trainings on best practices and connects them with technical experts who provide theoretical and practical knowledge. PRO-Cashew targets small producers like Effah, focusing on improving the quality of their produce and assuring that their agricultural ventures grow to generate additional profits.