“Also for the first time, the introduction of tree crops led by cashew is taking strong roots across the 5 regions. The introduction of cashew and shea as part of our Tree Crop Development Authority is going to transform agriculture in these 5 regions. For the first time in the history of this region, you would have a cash crop. President Akufo-Addo would have introduced the equivalent of cocoa into the cereal nature of the region. So the 5 regions have benefited enormously from Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).”
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture said this when he spoke on URA Radio as part of his working visit to the Upper East Region. The Minister was speaking about the successes chalked in the Upper East Region and in extension, the 5 regions of the north under his guidance as Minister for the sector.
Dr. Akoto was excited about the prospects of introducing a cash crop to the northern half of the country through the Tree Crop Development Authority.
The Tree Crops Development Authority is a body established by an Act of Parliament, the Tree Crops Development Authority Act 2019 (Act 1010), as a regulatory structure for six tree crops: Cashew, Shea, Mango, Coconut, rubber, and oil palm in Ghana.
The bill was laid and first read in Parliament on 4th July 2019, after several consultations between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and stakeholders, and referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs. On 14th November 2019, the committee report was discussed on the floor of Parliament and the bill read the second time. The bill went through a period of consideration from 27th November to 2nd December 2019, where there was a clause- by- clause discussion of the bill. It was passed into law on 2nd December 2019 and received presidential assent the same month.
Generally, as the Ghana COCOBOD does in the cocoa sector, the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) is now the body in charge of the regulation and development of production, processing, trading, and marketing of six tree crops in Ghana. The Authority, according to the Act, is to perform seven main functions.
Through the Tree Crop Development Fund, the Authority is tasked to identify and develop a sustainable source of funding for the tree crop industry. The Authority has also been charged to promote and support the development of the tree crops industry, and also collect statistical data from the tree crop value chain and advise the government and private sector on matters related to the development of the tree crops industry.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana