The Cashew farmers and beekeepers in the Nkoranza South Municipality and Nkoranza North District have applauded the Government for launching the mass spraying exercise for cashew crops nationwide.
As done for the cocoa sector, the exercise is expected to increase the production of the crop for both local consumption and export.
The farmers said the programme was in the right direction because cashew has now become the nation’s second exportable crop after cocoa, adding that it would also help to bring improvement in their livelihoods.
Mr Richard Okoe, the President of the National Beekeepers Association (NATBA), said this at the end of year meeting with the executive members of the cashew farmers and beekeepers at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
Mr Okoe said the exercise is a great relief to farmers as some of them could not spray their cashew farms in the previous years due to financial constraints and this led to low yields.
He urged all to be mindful as spraying the cashew tree when it is in bloom could initiate ‘massive flower abortion because of the pressure from the spraying guns’.
Mr Okoe further cautioned that traces of the chemical could be found in the cashew nut and fruit and also bee products such as honey and beeswax if the cashew tree is sprayed when in bloom, as is the situation currently.
He said Ghana stands the risk of facing a ban of these two commodities on the international market if high traces of the chemical were detected in the cashew nuts, honey and beeswax.
Mr Okoe said the timing of the spraying was very important and therefore advised that it must be done well before the trees start to flower, taking into consideration the agrochemical manufacturer’s directives.
He applauded the government for the bold initiative aimed at improving the incomes of farmers as well as improving the foreign exchange earnings of the country