Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has assured that government will establish the Tree Crop Development Authority to increase export of crops such as cashew and cocoa.
He hinted on this while speaking at a ceremony to launch a 600-million-dollar syndicated loan for COCOBOD.
As part of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme, the Tree Crop Authority, has been deliberated on and passed by Parliament as well as approved to by the President.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto in his speech, emphasized that the creation of the Authority will boom foreign earnings from tree crops.
“Among the five modules of the Planting for Food and Jobs flagship programme, is a tree crop module that we call Planting for Rural Export Development under which seven tree crops have been selected for development. In order that this is implemented, a law has now been passed by the Parliament of Ghana and assented to by the President of the Republic, establishing the Tree Crop Development Authority, which is going to come into action this year.”
He further disclosed the inspiration behind the establishment of the authority.
“The Tree Crop Development Authority aims to diversify the country’s earnings and soar up the country’s foreign exchange earnings. The module was inspired by the success story of cocoa in terms of its massive contribution to development in Ghana.”
In Ghana, the following seven tree crops are the most exported; cashew, mango, oil palm, coconut, rubber and shea.
In a bid to boost the agricultural sector and keep up with the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, government introduced the third policy, Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), in the last three years.
The PERD programme which was launched last year in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is to boost nine commodity value chains namely cashew, coffee, cotton, coconut, citrus, oil palm, mango, rubber and shea through a segregated system.
The programme aims at creating a tenable raw material base to goad industrial development for the One District, One Factory initiative.
The 5-year PERD programme seeks to fund about one million farmers in 170 districts with certified free planting materials to cover over one million hectares of farmlands.
It will also engage 10,000 young graduates as crop specialized extension officers.