The establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authourity (TCDA), in line with the government efforts to formalize the tree crop sector, as well as ensuring a reliable price mechanism within the sector and others, is estimated to turn over some $14 billion annually.
According to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, “this is on the assumption that each of the selected Tree Crops can generate $2 billion dollars annually just like cocoa.”
Already, he said, a total of 220,257 farmers have enrolled onto the programme while a total of 235,850 hectares of land have been cultivated with approximately 30 million seedlings developed across the country.
Against this backdrop, the President, who was speaking at the inauguration of the TCDA, was optimistic that the Tree Crops Module, otherwise known as Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), will bring about the transformation of the agricultural sector.
He noted that this will be realized through the provision of strong raw material base needed for Ghana’s industrialization push.
The PERD programme one of the five modules of the PFJ campaign. The module was launched in 2019 at Dunkwa-On-Offin with a focus to develop the Tree Crop sector. PERD is a market-oriented rural-based value chain intervention that seeks to increase and widen Ghana’s export portfolio, and accelerate rural development.
He explained among other things that the “over-reliance on cocoa as the only major cash crop was no longer tenable especially in the face of mounting pressure for the expansion of government services and infrastructure.”
Among other things, he observed that the government had to consider new avenues to shore up its revenue to make up for deficits.
“The logical solution was to focus and develop potential export crops with comparative advantage on the international market. The tree crop sector presented numerous opportunities given that Ghana is endowed with examples of high demand crop on the global market. Some of the tree crops like palm oil, rubber and cashew compare favourably with cocoa,” he stated.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto also noted that the high international demand and competitiveness of tree crops in the world market, calls for priority attention for Ghana’s tree crops sector.
He said this is necessary to ensure that the full benefits possible can be realized from the sector to accelerate economic development on a sustainable basis.
In view of this, he said the inauguration of the TCDA constitutes the government’s strategic response and effort to leverage the huge market out there.