December 10, 2020
GEPA distributes 400,000 coconut seedlings to farmers
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has distributed 400,000 coconut seedlings to farmers across the country under the Government of Ghana Coconut Revitalization Programme.
The first batch of 600,000 disease-resistant coconut seedlings was presented by GEPA in June 2020 to boost the supply base of the crop while accelerating its production for export.
The Coconut Federation of Ghana (COCOFEG) indicated that the exercise was a timely intervention to farmers in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus health crisis.
CEO of Ignite Farms, a commercial coconut grower and exporter based in the Bono East Region, Jeffery Osei Bonsu, lauded GEPA for the initiative and pledged to continue collaborating with the government to grow the industry.
Mr. Osei Bonsu said the government’s supply of 10,000 coconut seedlings to his company will ease its cost of production and give it a significant boost to thrive in the industry.
Presenting the seedlings to farmers within the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regions, Director of GEPA in charge of these regions, George Danquah Ameyaw, said the distribution of seedlings forms part of the Coconut Revitalization Programme spearheaded by GEPA.
He said, just as the Western Region, Ghana’s middle belt has the potential of becoming a hub for the production and processing of coconut for both the domestic and export markets.
Ghana’s coconut industry, according to organisers of the 2019 International Coconut Festival held in Accra, has the potential of earning the country 2.8 billion dollars of revenue annually.
The recently established Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) is mandated to develop and regulate the production, processing, marketing, and export of selected tree crops including coconut.
The implementation of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), which was launched in October 2020 and currently being championed by GEPA, is also expected to encourage the production of value-added products for export.
In 2017, Ghana was ranked 14th on the list of the world’s top coconut producers, with 383,960 metric tonnes produced that year alone according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Corporate Statistical Database.