February 21, 2018

GEPA Asserting Its Roles Under The Strategic National Export Target – Madam Klenam

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Madam Gifty Kekeli Klenam has said her outfit is asserting its roles, relevance and objectives contained in the National Export Strategy (NES).

Hon Klenam said this when she delivered a statement at Wenchi Jubilee Park, yesterday Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at the launch of the nation’s 10-year Cashew Development Plan.

The CEO of GEPA said, “We have identified that the challenge of today’s Cashew Farmer stems from inadequate knowledge on Best Agricultural Practices, the apparent lack of mass spraying exercise to fight common disease, and the lack of logistics and credit to support farmers maintain their cashew farms.”

She continued, “Whilst looking to increase our export earnings, we consider it necessary to improve production for subsequent increase in the export of value added cashew.”

“To address the above challenges, GEPA has approved and commissioned GHS1.6m to support the production of planting materials and improve yields with mass spraying at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region.” Hon Klenam added.

Below is Hon Gifty Klenam’s full statement yesterday:

STATEMENT BY HON GIFTY KEKELI KLENAM, CEO OF THE GHANA EXPORT PROMOTION AUTHORITY (GEPA) AT THE LAUNCH OF 10YR CASHEW DEVELOPMENT PLAN ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2018

As part of the realignment programs of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) under the patronage of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in asserting its role and relevance to the National Export Strategy agenda and the development of the Country, GEPA has set a strategic objective to achieve an increase in the contribution of NTE, from USD2.4 to USD10 billion within 4 years.

To achieve this, it had required amongst the key pillars to identify and agree on the key strategic priority products (agric& services) that has the potential to achieve the strategic target of USD10 billion with focused interventions to develop the entire value chain of these products.

Cashew is currently Ghana’s leading agricultural non-traditional export, bringing in about $197 million worth of export revenue in 2016, representing 53% of $371million received from the total agricultural NTE sub-sector. It is in this regard that in April 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between GEPA, the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana & BLC to develop and implement a 10-Year National Cashew Development Plan to develop the cashew industry and provide a national framework for actors to grow the industry.

The plan seeks to revitalize the whole value chain from Research, Primary production, Processing and value addition to Trading and Marketing.
GEPA under my leadership has adopted a new approach to developing and promoting the exports in Ghana by focusing on the entire value chain of priority product that are known to have the potential to increase the country’s exports thus reinforcing our firm strategic commitment of developing the cashew industry to promote sustainable growth, and increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

It has been realized that without addressing the challenges of the value chain we cannot improve NTEs in this country.

The implementation of the 10-Year National Cashew Development Plan (2017-2027) will support research and development to improve inputs and technology from the farm to export, produce over 2,000,000 grafted seedlings annually, expand production of raw cashew nuts (RCN) from 70,000MT to 300,000MT, increase processing capacity from 65,000MT to 200,000 MT, promote the production and marketing of cashew by-products, promote local consumption of roasted cashew products, support capacity building in the value chain to improve efficiency at all levels, promote competitiveness of the entire value chain, and create over 200,000 direct and indirect employment annually.

The programme is expected to benefit over 100,000 farmers with about 10,000 registered farmers earmarked to benefit from a revolving credit of about GHS3,000,000. The overall impact of the programme in terms of foreign exchange revenue is expected to be USD4.6 billion. GEPA is actively seeking support from key stakeholders including Exim bank to ensure that funding is available for the specific initiatives.

On the 7th of December 2017, GEPA commissioned the Cashew mass spraying exercise in Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo region. As part of programs, GEPA provided support to the Cashew Industry Association of Ghana with an amount of GHC1.6 Million towards the development of improved cashew seedling and the pilot phase of the mass spraying exercise of some 30,000Ha of cashew plantation, implementation of which would increase cashew yield by 30% marking the beginning of this program.

We have identified that the challenge of today’s cashew farmer stems from inadequate knowledge on Best Agricultural Practices (GAP), the apparent lack of mass spraying exercise to fight common diseases, and the lack of logistics and credit to support farmers maintain their cashew farms.

Whilst looking to increase our export earnings, we consider it necessary to improve production for subsequent increase in the export of value added cashew.

To address the above challenges, GEPA has approved and commissioned Ghs1.6m to support the production of planting materials and improve yields with mass spraying at Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region. The pilot mass spraying exercise is expected to target over 10,000 acres of cashew farms this year and over 70,000 acres annually beginning from 2018. The impact of the cashew mass spraying exercise according to research shall increase production yield by about 30%.

As part of the program, GEPA has proposed new regulations to protect local traders and aggregators, a Cashew Development Fund to be set up to support the industry, an aggressive program to retool and provide technical support and affordable working capital in line with the Governments Industrialization program to Processors in collaboration with Ministry of Food and Agriculture, EXIMBANK Ghana and the adoption of the GEPA and CIAGs flagship ‘New Season Opening Day’ to usher in the season at the beginning of each Cashew season.

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