As part of its commitment to boost the country’ non-traditional export (NTE) sector, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has distributed 400,000 coconut seedlings to farmers across the country under the Government’s Coconut Revitalization Programme.
The coconut seedlings distribution exercise which commenced in June 2020 is intended to accelerate the production of the tree crop for export. The programme has been lauded by key industry stakeholders, particularly the Coconut Federation of Ghana (COCOFEG), as a timely intervention to farmers, especially in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The CEO of Ignite Farms, a commercial coconut grower and exporter based in the Bono East Region, Jeffery Osei Bonsu, commended GEPA for the initiative and pledged to continue collaborating with the government to grow the industry.
Mr. Osei Bonsu said his company had received 10,000 coconut seedlings, indicating that the supply will ease its cost of production and give it a significant boost to thrive in the industry.
The Director of GEPA in charge of Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regions, George Danquah Ameyaw, said the distribution of seedlings forms part of the Coconut Revitalization Programme which is being spearheaded by GEPA.
He said, just as the Western Region, Ghana’s middle belt-covering Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo also has the potential of become a hub for the production and processing of coconut for both the domestic and export markets.
Underscoring its enormous economic potential, Mr. Ameyaw noted that the Government of Ghana added coconut to crops under the umbrella of the National Tree Crop Development Authority (NTCDA), which was established in 2019 and mandated to develop and regulate the production, processing, marketing, and export of coconut and other selected tree crops.
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 develop commodities such as coconut into value-added products for export.
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Corporate Statistical Database, Ghana in 2017 was ranked 14th on the list of the world’s top coconut producers, with 383,960 metric tonnes produced that year alone. Sources say the country has the potential to earn a revenue of about US$2.8 billion annually from the commodity.
George Danquah Ameyaw, GEPA Director (3rd right) presents coconut seedlings to farmers.