Invest in the coconut sector for development – Farmers appeal

Scores of coconut farmers and sellers in the Tema Metropolis have appealed to the government and investors to pay more attention to the sector to make it a major export earner.

They said there was a need for the capacity-building of stakeholders in the coconut industry value chain and to support them through a consistent supply of organic fertilisers and adequate hybrid coconut seedlings annually to boost production.

The coconut farmers and sellers in a random interview conducted by the Ghana News Agency in Tema and surrounding districts noted that such measures would boost coconut exports for the country to gain a comparative advantage on the international market to generate more foreign exchange.

Mr Tetteh Nartey, a coconut farmer at Ablantsekorpe in the Ada East District of the Greater Accra Region told the GNA in an interview that the coconut sector had the potential to contribute greatly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He noted that the coconut sector should be given the same attention as cocoa to help develop the agricultural sector of the country at large; “Ghana should not concentrate only on cocoa production, but also venture into coconut cultivation”.

Mr Nartey stated that the coconut sector must not only be considered for its mass production, but also its value addition, to make it more attractive to earn the country more foreign exchange.

He, therefore, called on the government and stakeholders to strategically invest in the coconut production for profitability and development.

Mr Stephen Edem, a coconut seller at Lebanon School Junction, a suburb of Ashaiman said the coconut industry must be developed to attract more people to venture into it.

He noted that the industry has the capacity to contribute its quota to help reduce the unemployment level in the country hence the need to make it more lucrative especially for the youth.

Mr Edem said who sells about 150 pieces of coconut on average daily, said “it is a lucrative business and better than sitting idle”.

Mr John Jado Tanihu, 84-year-old resident of Salom-Madagber in the Ada West District told the GNA that, coconut is widely used to treat a variety of health problems.

He said coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and could serve as a functional food as it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. -GNA

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