The Director of Public Relations at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ruth Maafo, has outlined interventions the government of Ghana is currently rolling out to boost coconut production and export in Ghana.
Speaking to Citinewsroom.com ahead of the 2nd International Coconut Festival, Mrs Maafo, stated that coconut from Ghana is in high demand globally and thus the country’s position as the world’s 9th leading producer can be further enhanced if programmes such as the Coconut Revitalization Programme and Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) are sustained across the country.
“Every part of the coconut is beneficial. Through the International Coconut Festival Ghana, we are putting the spotlight on Ghanaian businesses in the coconut value chain while helping them to connect with the relevant stakeholders and investors.”
She said GEPA has since 2017 provided a total of 600,000 disease-tolerant seedlings to coconut farmers to help boost the industry.
The 3-day event, according to her, is also aimed at encouraging more Ghanaians to venture into the coconut sector to boost production and export.
The 2022 edition was launched on Friday, August 12 at Alabokazo in the Ellembele District of the Western Region.
In her address, the CEO of GEPA, Dr. Asabea Asare, assured stakeholders in the coconut industry of GEPA’s commitment to supporting the industry to achieve an expected annual revenue of USD2.8 billion in exports.
This year’s event will take place from the 20th to the 23rd of September at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).
Other activities include seminar, mentorship for young people and sessions with women in coconut.
In 2019, GEPA, partnered ACG to hold the first ever International Coconut Festival in Ghana, which brought together exhibitors as well as major players to promote coconut business.
The government of Ghana added coconut into the National Tree Crop Development Authority (NTCDA), which was established in 2019 and mandated to develop and regulate production, processing, marketing and export of coconut and other selected tree crops.
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database for the year 2017, Ghana ranked 14th on the list of the world’s top coconut producers with 383,960 metric tonnes produced in 2017 alone.
The country’s export of desiccated coconut alone amounted to 21.9 million dollars in 2021 from 6.3 million dollars in 2020 and 3.8 million dollars in 2019, making Ghana 9th in global export of dessicated coconut.