Ghana is set to make billions of dollars from other tree crops aside from cocoa following the successful implementation of the Planting for Export and Rural Development, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has stated.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has launched an ambitious programme to diversify the country’s agricultural export capacity to include other tree crops with equal economic values as cocoa.
With the successful launch of one of the flagship policies under the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), according to the minister, six major tree crops namely Coconut, Rubber, Cashew, Oil Palm, Coffee and Shea, have the potential to outstrip cocoa and diversify the country’s economy from the over-reliance on only one crop as the major export commodity.
"The Ghana Beyond Aid vision can only be achieved if we are able to increase our agricultural export capacity, this is what we hope to do through the PERD programme. The six crops combined can each fetch us $2BN in terms of exporting the raw materials alone and this does not include value addition" the minister noted at a recent Cocoa Value Chain Summit organised by Ecobank in Accra.
The PERD is one of the components of Government’s agricultural flagship policy Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).
Other programmes include Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ) which is the livestock component, Agricultural Mechanisation Centres (AMSEC) and Greenhouse Villages Initiative.
Dr Akoto said millions of seedlings had been nursed and were being distributed to farmers at the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as part of the PERD programme.
The minister also highlighted a number of programmes which have been put in place by the government to enhance the revenue earned from cocoa, including the proposed establishment of a $100 million dollar cocoa processing factory at Sefwi Wiawso to add value to raw cocoa.