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Business News of Thursday, 1 October 2020

Source: Ruth Aboagye, Contributor

ADI projects US$5 billion from cash crop and 1.5 million jobs

With Ghana’s economy shrinking by 3.2 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2020, the Alliance for Development and Industrialization (ADI) research has unveiled that the country could generate up to US$5 billion annually within the next five to ten years through the development and expansion of non-traditional crops in the country.

“ADI believes that we can bring back the economy on a sound footing if these cash crops such as avocado, coconut, citrus, shea butter, cashew, mango among others, are well invested in this is the only way we can sustain our economy going forward” it said in a statement issued in Accra and signed by Francis Mensah.

“According to our research, avocado in the next five to ten years could generate US$1.2 billion, shea butter with its global demand could give the country like US$1 billion which would be the golden crop of the land, citrus US$1 billion, mango US$1 billion, coconut we can generate at last US$600 million and cashew about US$600 to US$900 million.

Because these are tree crops, it has that longevity which could continue to generate revenue for our economy. If the government knows it could earn US$5 billion, then we need to source for funding to develop this sectors” it said.

The government, through the Tree Crop Authority could give a guarantee and underwriting using these crops within these communities. The Tree Crop Authority should be the guarantor for these credit facilities and since they serve as a conduit for the government, they should begin spearheading some of these initiatives, the statement said.

It is time for the country not to only have cocoa roads but we can have pineapple road, citrus road etc by way of building commodity communities to empower the farmers.

The government should partner the private sector to handle the development, establishment, management, post harvest and processing, and positioning Ghana to be able to fit into the various markets not with the raw materials but with finish products.

The derivatives of the Crop authority is a catalyst for the next level of industrialization which we perceive should be creating jobs for over 1.5 million people, it said.

“The government cannot continue with its traditional way of raising revenue for this country, we need to diversify and build our own source of revenue to develop this country” it said.

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