GEPA sets $5.3bn target

Madam Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA

…as it rolls out 3-year strategic plan 

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has set up a three-year developmental strategic intervention to increase the current export earnings of Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) from $2.5 billion to $5.3 billion.

The figure represents an increase of 3.81%, compared to 2.463 billion earned in 2016.

The Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Madam Afua Asabea Asare revealed this during the launch of the 2017 Non-Traditional Exports Statistics (NTES) and the Buyer Portal of GEPA in Accra.

Speaking to the Goldstreet Business, the CEO explained that the current target set by GEPA on NTE earnings is realistic as compared to the previous target of $10 billion set up by her predecessor, Mrs. Gifty Kekeli Klenam.

“We are looking at adding value to the produce that we have instead of just taking them out there raw. We are facilitating export; we are taking steps to deal with any issue that put obstacles in their [farmers] way. I think when these are done, the $5.3 billion is very realistic”, she said.

Madam Asabea Asare reiterated that her outfit has outlined a number of strategic interventions geared towards increasing the contribution of NTE from 2.5 billion to 5.3 billion by the end of 2021. Key among the interventions she noted were increase in cashew, pineapple and coconut productions, beads production and the focus on exportable crop at each district.

Cashew

As part of efforts to increase yield in cashew production, Madam Asabea Asare stated that GEPA has developed a 10-year sustainability plan for cashew production with focus on value addition.

She mentioned that her outfit has embarked on a pilot programme for mass spraying and distribution of cashew seedlings at Wenchi in Brong Ahafo Region, targeted at increasing crop yield.

“The programme is targeted at spraying about 70, 000 acres and we did five districts. We are going ahead, starting this month, to spray 30 districts and this should help increase the yield. Already, the five districts we sprayed have increased the yield to 30%”, the CEO stated.

Pineapple & coconut interventions

On the increase of yield in pineapple production for both domestic and export markets, Madam Asabea Asare noted that GEPA has committed funding of Ghc4.2 million for the procurement of pineapple suckers. According to her, the authority has already prepared and delivered 15million suckers to farmers and it is expected to increase revenue to an estimated Ghc13.1million within the shortest period.

In coconut intervention, she mentioned that the launch of Coconut Export Revitalization Project (CERP) has provided 60,000 hybrid coconut seedlings worth Ghc600,000 which were distributed to coconut farmers in the Central Region.

One district, one exportable product

It was revealed that GEPA has had extensive consultation with all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) throughout the country to identify one crop from each district. The CEO reiterated that this concept of identifying a unique crop at district levels is developed solely for exports.

Beads

To enhance the quality and production of beads for both domestic and export uses, GEPA is collaborating with the Ministry of Local Government, Finance and Agriculture to rejuvenate the Abompe Beads industry at Akyem Abompe in the Easter Region.

It is expected that the bauxite-made beads production at Abompe will increase in yield, thereby boosting local and international markets.

The National Exporters’ Forum since its inception in 1987 has served as a suitable platform for interaction between exporters and stakeholders which has contributed to identifying and addressing constraints in the NTE sector. It is also a platform where exporters and stakeholders are informed about export activities and programmes in the NTE sector for the year.

By Dundas Whigham