We welcome the decision of the Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC) to devise strategies to ensure that government's intention to raise $1billion from Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) by the end of this year becomes attainable.
The overall growth in the non-traditional sector has been significant within the past few years, increasing from $276 million in 1996 to about $900 million in 2006.
Non-traditional export goods, mainly bananas pineapples, mangoes, handicrafts, among others have the potential of earning more foreign exchange for the country and also creating jobs for the youth.
The decision is laudable but it must be backed with action in order to encourage farmers to expand their farms and where necessary start new ones.
From there, clerks in offices might even leave their jobs to enter into agriculture when they realize that it is more lucrative to produce some of those commodities for export.
The export of quality handicrafts might be more lucrative in the European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) if the products can compete with those from other countries.
From what is happen globally it would be necessary for a country like Ghana to mobilize funds from all sources to carry out its many development programmes.
The country can no more rely on its traditional sources of income, namely income from cocoa, minerals, timber and lately tourism.
Although Ghana has been ranked as the third largest exporter of pineapples to the European Union, the country has more to do so far as the export of pineapples, bananas, mangoes and cashew nuts are concerned.
A research conducted in the West African sub-region recently indicated that Ghana had key information communication technology in the sub-region which could be used in its export trade.
The facilities are there; it is for the people to take advantage of them by increasing their products and exporting them.
There is a possibility that some of our exporters could under-invoice their produce and as such repatriate less revenue from their exports.
Generally, it appears some of the exporters have been playing their part as patriotic citizens. Our policy-makers must however assist them with facilities under their ministries.
We suggest that fora, symposia and workshops should be held regularly for them to update their knowledge in whatever field they are operating in.
DAILY GUIDE congratulates the exporters on their achievements and urges them to do more for the good of the entire country.