As part of its strategic intervention to increase the yield of pineapple exports, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) through its Supply Based Intervention Project has presented two million pieces of the Smooth Cayenne Pineapple suckers to the Golden Riverside Farms Ltd and Ohu farms in the Eastern Region.
This intervention is in response to several requests from exporters and out-grower farmers for high-quality suckers needed to achieve increased yield of the fruit to feed fruit processing facilities and for increased exports.
The project which began in 2017 delivered over six (6) million pineapple suckers for free to beneficiaries including the Ekumfi Pineapple Factory, which is part the Nana Akufo-Addo led government’s One District One Factory Initiative.
The Project Coordinator, Mr. Adubofour noted that, due to the overwhelming success of the project last year coupled with incessant requests from exporters and pineapple out growers, “GEPA intends to deliver 13.3million pineapple suckers in total to beneficiary farms & exporters this year”.
Addressing participants and beneficiaries at the presentation ceremony, Ms. Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA expressed her delight to her team at GEPA for working assiduously to make this pledge a reality.
“We are happy that we are delivering on our promises. Let me emphasize that, it is not part of the core mandate of GEPA to supply suckers to farmers and/or exporters but we must admit that we need the pineapples to sell on the international market in achieving our targets and earn more foreign exchange. In our desperation to get more to sell, we are led down the value chain of our products to identify what the issues are, and take up some of the issues that others are supposed to be doing. That’s why you see us supplying pineapple suckers today,” she said.
She further indicated that, GEPA is working in joint collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to achieve the objectives of the government’s Planting for Export and Development (PED) Program.
She expressed her delight in seeing the beneficiaries who were youth and urged the young people to go into agriculture which is one of the lucrative sectors of Ghana’s economy now.
This she said falls in line with GEPA’s Youth In Export Program.
Mr. Solomon Wiafe Ntow, CEO of Golden Riverside Farm Ltd, one of the two beneficiaries for the occasion expressed their appreciation to Madam Afua Asabea and her team for living up to their expectations.
He pledged their commitment to working hard to increase their pineapple yield.
Pineapple is the 4th most exported agric product in Ghana’s National Non-traditional Export Basket earning over USD 18million in 2017, representing a 31.5% increase from 2016.
Ms Asabea was accompanied by Mr. Sam Dentu (Deputy CEO in charge of Finance and Operations), Mrs Ruth Maafo (Director of Public Relations), Mr. George Adomako (Eastern Regional Director), Mr. Adubofour (Project Coordinator) and some staff members of GEPA.