Ghana takes steps to harness cash crop potential

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Ghana is taking steps to harness its cash crop potential to live with the disruptions of the cocoa production occasioned by climate crises.

cashewIt has developed a five year framework and implementation plan to focus on growing cashew, oil-palm, mango, coconut, rubber, shea and mango as a climate mitigation measure and to boost the country’s foreign exchange revenue earnings.

The tree crop subsector provides excellent opportunities for economic diversification by expanding opportunities for job creation, poverty reduction, food security, foreign currency revenues, and overall contribution to Gross Domestic Product.

These six tree crops have the potential to generate about 16 billion USD in foreign exchange revenue for Ghana by 2030.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, who outdoored the five year plan to be implemented by the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA), said it was an essential component of Ghana’s inclusive economic transformation goal for long-term growth.

The Authority will provide support for research, production and value chain, capacity building, licensing and regulation.

Dr Akoto said for more than a century, Ghana had relied on cocoa as a major cash crop and a source of foreign exchange earnings and said it was time to diversify the sector.

“Despite the fact that the country has an abundance of arable land suitable for cocoa production, such a golden opportunity is under threat as a result of deforestation, climate change, and other human-caused environmental destruction; as a result, the amount of land suitable for cocoa production has decreased significantly,” he said.

The Minister said if the current trend continued, many cocoa-growing households would be devastated, which would affect foreign exchange revenues.

He noted that the tree crop sub-sector was a great way to diversify the economy by creating more jobs, reducing poverty, making sure there was enough food, and making money in foreign currencies.

Mr William Agyapong Quaitoo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, said his outfit would inspire innovation by investing in Research and Development to explore competitive and sustainable ways to create traceable tree crops supply chains and market systems.

Mr Kyle F. Kelhofer, Senior Regional Manager, International Financial Corporation, said that the implementation plan would help create a conducive environment for the value chain actors.

GNA

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