The African Coconut Group (ACG) is partnering with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to host the third International Coconut Festival in Ghana, on the theme, “Investing In Ghana’s Coconut Sector for an Inclusive Climate and Social Resilience.”
The launch of the 2023 edition took place on August 10th at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.
In his address, the Deputy CEO of GEPA, Albert Kassim Diwura, expressed the organization’s dedication to supporting coconut industry stakeholders in achieving the target of USD 2.8 billion in annual export revenue by 2029.
He expressed confidence that the Coconut Festival would advance the coconut agenda and encourage investment in the sector.
He said, the Authority, in 2017, started the Coconut Revitalization Programme to improve the supply capacity of the value chain and revitalise the once-struggling coconut sector.
“We launched the coconut revitalization intervention some six years ago, with a clear objective of reviving the then ailing coconut industry to improve the supply capacity of the value chain, having realised the growing demand trend for coconut globally.”
According to him, the growing global demand for coconuts globally was the driving force behind the intervention.
“The coconut industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and countries that have invested heavily in the value chain, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, have reaped the benefit. Ghana, our dear country has all it takes to become a leading global supplier of coconut and its derivatives to generate significant export revenue for the country.”
He called on the business community in Ghana to explore opportunities within the coconut industry, adding that Ghana is well-positioned to emerge as a leading global supplier of coconut products, thereby generating significant export revenues.
“GEPA has made a modest but quite significant investments in the sector since 2017 by procuring and distributing disease-tolerant coconut seedlings to coconut farmers across the major coconut farming Regions in the country specifically the Central, Western, Eastern, Western Nort, Volta, Oti and Bono East regions.”
To date, nearly 800,000 seedlings have been distributed, covering over 12,500 acres.
Mr. Diwura gave the assurance that GEPA would continue to support the coconut sector with unwavering commitment until it became self-sufficient.
He acknowledged the considerable investments made by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development through the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
Scheduled to take place from September 26th to September 28th in Takoradi, this year’s festival offers an array of engaging activities.
Alongside exhibitions, there will be seminars, mentorship sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs, and dedicated discussions focusing on women’s involvement in the coconut sector.
The first-ever International Coconut Festival was organised by GEPA and ACG in 2019, bringing together exhibitors and other stakeholders to promote the coconut business.
Ghana incorporated coconut into the portfolio of the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) in 2019. The body has the mandate to develop and regulate the production, processing, marketing, and export of coconut and other selected tree crops.
As per statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation Corporate Statistical Database for 2017, Ghana claimed the 14th spot among the world’s foremost coconut producers, boasting a production of 383,960 metric tonnes in that year alone.
The non-traditional export figures for 2022 were indicative of the coconut sector’s substantial economic contribution. Notably, earnings from both fresh and processed coconuts reached 6.3 million dollars and 6 million dollars, respectively.
Ghana’s export of desiccated coconut also emerged as a standout performer. Exports in this category rose to 21.9 million dollars in 2021, a significant increment from 6.3 million dollars in 2020 and 3.8 million dollars in 2019, securing the nation a commendable 9th position in global desiccated coconut exports.