Accra, Sept. 3, GNA - Mango production and processing can earn more income for Ghana than cocoa in the short to medium term if serious attention is paid to the sector.
Mr Samuel Asante-Mensah, Country Director of Adventists Development and Relief Agency, Ghana (ADRA- GH), speaking to the Ghana News Agency on Saturday said, "Mango prices both locally and internationally provide a far greater income per acre than even cocoa.
"Besides, ADRA's analysis, demand for mango would continue to be higher than the production in Ghana, but in the long run existing marketing outlets will not be enough for the increasing production.
"It is in this regard that I laud President Kufuor's recent announcement to set up cassava and mango processing plants in the Yilo and Manya Krobo areas where ADRA Ghana client mango production have grown to over 10,000 acres," Mr Asante-Mensah said.
The Country Director said it was a forward looking and timely decision to establish the processing plants because it could represent a major economic springboard for the growth of rural economies and the nation.
Mr Asante-Mensah said currently Ghana imported both fresh and processed mangos from other countries especially South Africa in spite of the numerous advantages she has in growing the fruit locally. "Mathematically, cocoa is today making a ton per acre at nine million cedis, but the same acre of land of exotic mango production is making over 20 million cedis.
"The value of mango like many other primary agricultural commodities can be doubled or tripled merely by peeling and cutting into small chunks and then packaging or juicing and bottling.
"The technology for juicing or cutting mango is simple but require heavy capital outlay," Mr Asante-Mensah said.