As part of efforts to boost revenue from non-traditional exports, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, GEPA, is set to distribute 160,000 coconut seedlings to some farmers in the country to increase coconut production.
Ghana is seeking to rake in 2 billion dollars from the export of coconut by 2023.
Already, GEPA has distributed 100,000 coconut seedlings to farmers in the Western and Central regions.
Speaking to journalists after a symbolic handing over event, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, said farmers in nine regions will benefit from the distribution of the seedlings.
“We are hoping to see that these coconut seedlings will be planted nationwide in the regions I mentioned. Hopefully, we get to cover the whole nation in the next planting season. We are hoping that they take care of them, so that they can yield enough to contribute to the exports of the country because most often, you find some of these seedlings that we supply sitting in the bush. Nobody is taking care of them.”
“…But we have worked with these groups closely and we know what they are capable of doing. We are in high spirits that this is the beginning of a very good relationship and the fact that they are so bent on seeing this work and we are bent on helping them make it work. It is a good collaboration. Every part of the coconut is useful. So if this works well, we are going to see so much coming out of it,” she said.
Meanwhile, the President of the Coconut Farmers Association of Ghana, Patrick Ndabiah, says the Association will soon come out with a price mechanism to help improve revenue to coconut farmers.
“It is an opportunity for national corporation and for the board in place to regulate the pricing within Accra. This is opportunity for GEPA to support us so that by 2024, we will be able to increase production and we will be able to meet the extra demand. So, we will put in place all structures and machinery that will be geared towards the success of the project,” he said.
Currently, though the projected global growth in the coconut industry is pegged at US$15 billion by 2024, the production level in Ghana is 224 million coconut fruits annually, and 179 million of the total production is produced by smallholder farmers.