More than 1,000 people jobless after Mim Cashew factory collapse
More than 1,000 employees have lost their jobs following the shut-down of the Mim Cashew and Agricultural Production Limited in the Ahafo Region.
The factory, which is one of West Africa’s leading cashew producers with an output of more than 600 tons of raw cashew nuts per year, had to shut down due to the high cost of production, processing, and lack of raw materials.
The Director of Human Resource and Administration, Jemima Akusika Hansen, briefing the media during a visit of the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, appealed for the government’s support to revive the factory.
She said that the free-zone enterprise was closed in November 2020, noting that the venture was labour intensive and the challenges they faced had made them focus on farming.
She said that currently, the factory had 750 cashew plantations 50 acres of sugarcane.
Mrs Hensen stated that through the government’s support to revive the factory, more jobs would be created, especially for the youth of the Ahafo region.
Dr Akoto was in the region together with some key staff of the ministry, as part of his three-day working visits to the Ahafo, Bono and Bono East Regions.
This was to ascertain the state of agricultural production in the respective regions and ways to improve it.
Dr Akoto expressed shock over the state of the factory and pledged the government’s support to help resuscitate the company.
Particularly, the minister said the government would assist with the procurement of machines and equipment from Vietnam to help revive the company.
He also said that the government was putting in place mechanisms to regulate the cashew industry and make it more viable.
Cashew production in Ghana
Cashew is one of the non-traditional export crops given support by the government of Ghana, with an estimated 88% of cashew farms being owned by smallholder farmers.
A report by the Cashew Development Project estimated that the cashew sub-sector could contribute to pro-poor economic growth by generating over 200,000 permanent and seasonal jobs, particularly for farm labourers and intermediaries.
Furthermore, the marketing, distribution and processing of raw cashew nuts offer more than 5,000 permanent and seasonal jobs annually in the cashew industry.
Data available shows that the country earned $378 million from the exportation of 110 tonnes of raw cashew nuts in 2018.
The amount represented 43% of the total revenue obtained from non-traditional export commodities in the country.