GHANA – In a bid to harness the untapped potential of the cashew fruit, the Bono Regional Minister, Madam Justina Owusu Banahene, has called upon stakeholders, especially the youth, within the cashew industry to explore innovative avenues for its utilization.

Often overlooked and discarded, the cashew fruit presents an opportunity for economic transformation within the region.

Addressing attendees at the commencement of a four-day training program for Women and Youth in Cashew Farming in the Bono Region, held in Fiapre, Sunyani West Municipality, Madam Justina Owusu Banahene underscored the importance of adding value to the cashew apple.

She emphasized that unlocking the economic potential of this fruit could significantly impact the socio-economic landscape of the region.

Highlighting the prevalence of underutilization, the minister emphasized the weighty presence of the cashew apple within the fruit and its consequent neglect as a byproduct.

She attributed this neglect to a lack of awareness among stakeholders, resulting in missed opportunities for economic advancement.

Madam Justina Owusu Banahene outlined the various possibilities for deriving value from the cashew apple, including the production of juice, jam, and vinegar.

By tapping into these opportunities, the region stands to bolster its economic gains, particularly for smallholder farmers.

Furthermore, the minister emphasized the significant role played by the cashew sector within the region’s agricultural framework.

With extensive acreage dedicated to cashew plantations and substantial yields of both nuts and apples, there exists a foundation for substantial growth and development.

Urging a departure from conventional approaches, Madam Justina Owusu Banahene stressed the importance of innovation in value addition and commercialization, especially concerning cashew apples.

She highlighted the need for stakeholders to explore novel methods to fully exploit the fruit’s potential.

The minister also underscored the empowerment potential of the training program, particularly for women and youth in the cashew sector.

By equipping them with knowledge and skills, the program aims to create avenues for economic empowerment and entrepreneurship within local communities.

In alignment with broader governmental objectives of sustainable agricultural development and environmental stewardship, the training program serves as a catalyst for progress.

Madam Justina Owusu Banahene encouraged participants to approach the training with seriousness, recognizing its role in reducing cashew apple wastage and promoting its utilization in value-added products.

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