Business

GEPA boss: Ghana holds potential to become leading global supplier of coconut

The International Coconut Conference Festival, or ICF, will hold its second iteration in Ghana from Tuesday, September 20 to Friday, September 23. Among other things, the four-day trade show will bring together important participants in the coconut business.

Dr. Afua Asabea Asare said that in 2021 “fresh coconut export amounted to US$1.44 million while its derivatives accounted for close to US$7 million” when speaking at the event’s launch in Ellembele in the Western Region.

Although modest, she continued, “it shows a lot of potential for expansion. With a contribution of 84.35% from the semi-processed and processed sector, it has the potential to create over US$2.8 billion in export revenue per year if the proper policies and interventions are implemented to promote the sector.

The festival’s theme this year, “Repositioning Ghana’s Coconut Sector for Accelerated Industrialization,” was inspired by a desire to accelerate the growth of the coconut industry as a whole, with a focus on value addition.

Employment

Dr. Asare thinks that supporting Ghana’s booming coconut sector could help the country’s teeming youth fight the country’s rising unemployment rate.

“There are a number of SMEs in this value chain that are doing extremely well and, with the right technical and financial support, would be able to grow quickly and expand their markets both domestically and abroad. They would also be better able to provide employment to the throngs of youth who are looking for respectable occupations to accomplish. In terms of employment, we think the private sector has to grow because it has one of the highest potentials and absorptive capacities.

Investment

The head of the Ghana Export Promotions Authority took use of the occasion to entice both domestic and international investors to show a great interest in Ghana’s coconut business.

Because of this, she emphasized, “we encourage local and foreign investors and SMEs wishing to grow up their operations to be on the lookout for a wider range of creative coconut goods in cosmetics, food and beverages, medicine, grooming items, as well as art & crafts.”

Since 2017, GEPA has supplied close to 700,000 saplings, totaling over 12,000,200 acres.

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