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14.11.2003 Business & Finance

Ghana's Agriculture Exports Increases

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Ghana's agricultural exports have increased dramatically from 22 million dollars in 1992 to 85 million dollars in 2002, Mr. Adu Mensah, Director of Ghana Export Promotion Council said yesterday.

Between 1992 to 2002, the agricultural sub-sector contributed an average of 22 per cent to the total non-traditional exports earnings, second to the manufacturing sub-sector that contributed an average of 76 per cent over the same period", he added.

Mr. Mensah who was speaking on the topic " Market Accessibility for Ghana's Agricultural Product ", at the ongoing Agricultural and Food Fair in Accra, said despite the growth recorded in the export of agricultural produce, the actual target had not been achieved yet.

He said pineapple exports increased from 14,000 in 1994 to 34,000 metric tonnes in 2001, mango from 900 in 1994 to 23,000 metric tonnes in 2001, banana from 500 in 1994 to 3,000 metric tonnes in 2001.

Mr. Mensah noted that the increase was achieved as a result of the prudent market access measures adopted. "The measure was undertaken through participation in trade fairs and exhibitions, contact promotion programmes, marketing tours and market surveys", he said.

He said the market access facility faced certain set backs such as weak product association, majority of small exporters unable to create market presence and the absence of market representation and warehousing in the destination markets for horticultural products.

Mr. Mensah said to enhance Ghana's competitiveness on the international market, efforts were made to improve packaging, ensure group marketing, reduce freight end handling cost and strengthening of exporters associations.

He observed that large market opportunities for Ghanaian exporters in the European Union depended on the production of tropical and subtropical products that are hardly grown in Europe.

Mr. Augustine Adongo, Director of Federation of Ghanaian Exporters urged exporters to deal with product whose quality conformed to international standards. He noted that if the qualities of agricultural produce were not carefully managed consumers would not patronize them. "To be able to stay on the market on sustain basis, the quality of the products must meet all the required standards", he added.

Mr. Adongo cautioned exporters about the way they treat information concerning products saying it would not augur well for them if consumers have different impression about their products.

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