The Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says government has targeted earning $16.1 billion from seven tree crops within eight years, through the Tree Crop Development Authority.
The minister said this at the commissioning of an office complex as the headquarters for the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) at Cantonments in Accra yesterday.
The occasion also saw the handing over of four refrigerated vehicles, known as the reefer vans, for the GIDA under the Ghana Peri-Urban Vegetable Value Chain Project (GVVCP).
The vans were presented to four implementing partners, HMR Organics, BB’s Veggies, AB Farm Ventures, and Dzi Fresh.
The $50 World Bank funded GIDA office complex comprises a server room, irrigation promotion centre, electronic library centre, computer room, legal, among others.
According to Dr Akoto, although cocoa has been the country’s leading crop earner, there were other crops which have remained untapped into, despite their significant economic gains to the country.
“There are other cocoas which God has given us, yet we have not developed,” he said.
Against this background, Dr Akoto indicated that, the government has selected the seven crops and has targeted to grow each one of them to produce as much as cocoa is giving the country.
“We want each one of these crops to also earn $2.3 billion in the next seven to eight years,” Dr Akoto stated.
The $2.3 billion set target for each of the seven crops was a reaffirmation of a pronouncement by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his second edition of the encounter with the media in December last year.
The crops were cashew, oil palm, coffee, coconut, citrus, oil palm, mango and rubber.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the GIDA, Mr Wilson Kwabena Darkwa said that, the reefer vans would be of importance to the vegetable production sector in peri-urban areas, because they will be used to cart the produce to the warehouse, and also to the market centres.
Senior Agriculture Economist with the World Bank, Mr Sheu Salau said, the reefer vans would help in preventing post-harvest loses by farmers, and also provide assurance to farmers of ready market for their produce.
BY FRANCIS NTOW