Ghana’s cotton industry commenced in 1968 when the Cotton Development Board was established.
Afterwards, the industry suffered a general decline in the 80s.
The Government invited the public to take participation in the stock of the Board that became Ghana Cotton Company Ltd (GCCL).
At that time, the Government of Ghana (GoG) kept 30 percent of the shares, and sold the remaining 70 percent to two textile companies.
In 2010, a study revealed that out of 70,000mt total installed ginnery capacity, Ghana’s cotton production per annum hovered around 4,000mt; an abysmal performance which is mainly attributed to low productivity level of out-growers who still stick to obsolete cotton production technology with heavily reliance on agro-chemicals, resulting in high cost of production.
Ghana’s cotton production had to deal with competition from unfavorable world prices at the turn of the millennium.
This hurdle affected rapidly the decay of the sector.
By 2010, there was 5,000 hectare of cotton under cultivation, and the total capacity of 86,000mT (of which 61,000mT in the hands of GCCL) produced that year about 2,000mT of lint.
The Government of Ghana considers the revival of the cotton industry a key to the reduction of poverty in the poorer, northern region of the country.
Attracted by international prices at a historical peak, and inspired by the success of nearby Burkina Faso in its cotton sector, the government has invited three large cotton companies to restart the cotton production in Ghana.
Although there is a strong commitment from the government to revive the cotton sector, there is no clear consensus or strategy on how to go about it. Some preliminary choices and decisions have been made by the government and by private investors but a conducive legal, policy and social environment is lacking.