December 3, 2018

‘Ghana’s agriculture exports under tapped’ – Dir P.D, GEPA

The Director for Product Development at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr Erasmus Ashun, has said there exist a lot of export potential for Ghana’s agriculture which is under tapped over the years.

Speaking at the just ended Stakeholders’ Forum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration with partnership from the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), at the Accra Conference Centre, on Friday, November 30, 2018, Mr Erasmus Ashun, who spoke on behalf of Ms Afua Asabea Asare, CEO GEPA, mentioned Pineapples, Cashew, Bananas, Mangoes, Yam and Vegetables as major exported nontraditional agricultural products from Ghana, although these commodities face yearly deficit in supplies to the available markets in the EU, Middle East, Asia and to other parts of the globe.

The director of products development at GEPA stated that, “the period of January to December 2017, earnings from NTE amounted to US$2.557 billion representing an increase of 3.81% compared to the US$2.5 billion in 2016.”

He added that, “Ghana’s nontraditional exports for the past five years grew at an annual average rate of 1.2% and currently contributes to 18.37% of the total national merchandise exports of Ghana.”

Export earnings in the agriculture subsector amounted to US$440.95 million in 2017 compared to US$371.14 million in 2016, showing an increase of 18.81%.

The subsector contributed 17.25% to the total NTE earnings in the year under review.

Predominantly small-scale production units with wide geographical spread; Obsolete production technology; Inadequate quality management systems (Finance, Administration, ITC, Agronomist, Post Harvest Specialist) and infrastructure such Packhouse, roads;
Low research interventions; Lack of integration of supply chain infrastructure to support exports such as Packhouse, cold vans ; Irrigation infrastructure – Climatic changes have made it necessary that all agricultural projects be supplemented with irrigation.

Rainfall patterns have changed and rains are not regular. Plants do not get enough water when needed thus affecting growth and yields.

This not withstanding, Mr Ashun indicated that, “despite the challenges currently facing the Agric Export Value Chains, the sector has a lot of potentials that could be exported for the benefit of the country.”

“The country has some comparative advantage like Good climate, Soil, Abundant water resource, Abundant trainable labour, Proximity to major European markets and Efficient sea and airports”, he stated

Mr Ashun concluded that, “With growing markets for all the agric export value chains we only need entrepreneur spirits to achieve the needed.”

Share This