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Ghana to diversify agri sector with six tree crops

Ghana’s minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the government is planning to diversify the agriculture sector, in order to generate more revenue for national development through six tree crops

According to reports by Ghana News, he said tree crops such as mango, rubber, cashew, oil palm, coconut, and shea, have the potential to serve as a major source of additional revenue generation.

He charged the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA), during their inauguration in Accra, to ensure that they put in much effort to generate the expected US$15bn from the six tree crops. “Each of the six tree crops in the next eight to 10 years should give us more than US$2bn, which makes a total of US$15bn…It is a huge responsibility to develop these selected tree crops in the next eight to ten years to a level where the country will be earning as much foreign exchange as cocoa.”

The minister was hopeful that with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), there would be the opportunity to add value to the raw materials form the tree crops for ready market on the continent.

Stephen Sekyere-Abankwa, chairperson of the board, thanked the president for reposing confidence in them and assured that they were prepared to work tirelessly to make his vision of ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ a reality.

He said the board would pursue programmes and policies that would attract huge investments in the tree crop sub-sector and with proper management, the country would be able to generate between US$5 billion and US$10 billion annually. He was optimistic of the Board’s ability to achieve the goal, nothing that though the project was a government initiative, the Authority was dominated by private sector players who were farmers, processors, traders and had interest in seeing the sector thrive.

William Quaittoo, CEO of the authority, said they would get on on a digitisation agenda to register all farmers in tree cropping for effective planning; engage in research; capacity building and an strengthen mechanisms to increase production of the six tree crops.