December 13, 2017

GEPA Empowers Cashew Growers Association

Ghana Export Promotion Authority has provided an amount of one million Ghana cedis to support the Cashew Industry in Ghana to boost production. The intervention is meant to support them with mass spraying and securing of grafted seedlings for the farmers/growers association in the Brong Ahafo Region. The presentation was made by Madam Gifty Kekeli Klenam, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) on Thursday, December 7, 2017 in Wenchi in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana.The amount adds to six hundred thousand Ghana Cedis (GhC600,000) earlier given to the cashew cashew industry.Hon Gifty-Klenam-Speaking-during-a-donation-to-cashew-farmers-at-wenchi

A Similar Boost Given The Pineapple Sector

It will recalled that GEPA, in August this year, at Bomart Farms at Nsawam, launched an initiative to boost the production of the smooth cayenne (SC) variety of pineapples to meet demand for the local and export market.

The SC variety which has been widely produced and exported in Ghana since the 1980’s, was abandoned by farmers as a result of varietal shift to an increasing high demand for the MD2 pineapple variety by importers in the EU in 2005. As a result of this shift in market demand for MD2, Ghana has seen a decline in volume of exports with smallholder farmers who contributed between 35 – 50% of the export volume of pineapple before 2004 bearing the brunt.

Addressing stakeholders at the launch Madam Gifty Klenam, CEO of GEPA, said the project aimed to address weak supply chains to the processing firms and also to promote exports of air- freighted Smooth Cayenne pineapples into a niche market in EU. She said GEPA has as part of the implementation of the National Export Strategy (NES) developed a comprehensive four-year work plan for the revitalization of the smooth cayenne variety of pineapple for both fresh and high value processed markets.

Among others, the initiative will introduce healthy Smooth Cayenne suckers to farmers out of which future multiplications would emanate at the enterprise level.

It is also to create jobs and increase incomes of the beneficiary farmers.

To drive the initiative, GEPA budgeted an amount of 4.2 million Ghana Cedis to implement the activities of the project with the injection of over 15,000,000 (fifteen million) suckers of smooth cayenne pineapple varieties into the system. It is estimated that the project will rake in an estimated $13.5 million over a period of four to five years.

“This has the potential to increase amount of smooth cayenne suckers planted with projected planting cover of 120 Million field suckers which has the potential to generate 180,000 MT of fresh pineapples for both export and processing in year 1 to 2 after commencement of the project,” she said.

The programme targets both processors and exporters as the recipients of the suckers for onward distribution to their out growers who have proven track records as reliable suppliers of fruits to these buyers. To ensure the quality and control, GEPA will develop through a competitive process, a database of beneficiary exporters of fresh and high value pineapple processors who meet the selection criteria, Hon Klenam said.

Potential beneficiaries for the programme must be a registered exporter of good standing with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, must be exporting either fresh or processed pineapple and be within the top 20 pineapple exporters in volume and value. They must have staff strength of not less than 100 workers, with at least 50 per cent being women and have an annual turnover of not less than one million dollars.

To ensure true to type field planting materials, GEPA would advertise and request bids from farms with certification by PPRSD. Other qualification criteria include Global Gap certification, PPRSD Certified nurseries Source of original suckers, Recommendation by buyers to attest to phenotype of produce, Capacity of supplier to multiply field suckers, Current stock and evidence.

Ghana’s pineapple is exported mainly as fresh, fresh cut and to a lesser extent juice and dry. Recent research data indicates that the juice export has fallen considerably due to strict export market requirements. As the fresh cut increased in quantity and value from $ 32 million dollars in 2012 to $53 million dollars in 2016 that for the juice reduced from $13.1 million dollars to $ 232,462 in 2016.

Cashew, like pineapple, Shea butter and soya beans, among others, are non traditional exportable products.

Accompanying the GEPA boss to the event was Dr Prince Kwakye Afriyie (Municipal Chief Executive for Wenchi), who represented Lawyer Nsomah Cheremeh (Brong Ahafo Regional Minister), Mr Eric Amoako Twum (Deputy CEO of GEPA), Madam Theodora Froko (GEPA Director for Handicrafts), Mr Adjei Yeboah  GEPA Ashanti Region Head and Head of Cashew at GEPA), Mr George Adomako (GEPA Eastern Region Head) among others.

The event on Thursday, December 7, which saw cashew growers/farmers boosted with cash, is expected to help these farmers acquire seedlings and other vital resources to help them (Cashew Farmers) grow more for export. It reaffirmed GEPA’s target of developing at least one exportable product in every district (1D1EP).

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