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Business News of Thursday, 15 March 2018


GEPA launches Coconut Intervention Project at Gomoa Odumasi

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In alignment with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision to invigorate the agricultural sector, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) launched the Coconut Export Revitalization Project on Wednesday March 14, 2018.

The ceremony which took place at Gomoa Odumasi, Gomoa East District in the Central Region saw the patronage of coconut farmers who applauded the initiative by GEPA.

According to the Chief Executive officer (CEO) of GEPA, Madam Gifty Kekeli Klenam, the scheme offers opportunities for value addition both local and international markets with resulting opportunities for employment and business opportunities.

To achieve the above, GEPA boss revealed that 60,000 hybrid seedlings worth GHC600, 000 will be distributed to the Gomoa Odumasi coconut farmers who register under the scheme.

The seedlings will be spread over 1,000 acres of land.

In her address to the farmers, the former MP for lower West Akyem explained, “This intervention is necessary as the projected world demand for coconut and its by products in 2021 is estimated to be 2.8 billion dollars.”

Aside the massive production of coconut, Madam Klenam noted that GEPA is diligently pursuing a vision with a “mandate to provide support” to other agricultural value chains which include pineapple, cashew, and avocado.

Coconut farmers who spoke to Ghanaweb, expressing enthusiasm, at the launch said the Coconut Intervention Project is the first assistance received from an institution and the government.

While reiterating that the use of coconut cannot be over emphasized, they mentioned that the cash crop, with a high potential of boosting the economy and creating jobs, can be used for commercial purposes aside its consumption.

“Apart from its consumption as food, it can also be used for our industrial projects. Coconut has a lot of economic premium…so we have been advocating and I continue to say that let us encourage a lot of farmers to go into coconut farming. I know coconut can help Ghana to earn a lot of foreign exchange,” Ato Doughan, a coconut advocate from Senya Breku said.

Madam Klenam, therefore said “strategic investment” will be extended to cover farmers in the Western Region, replicating the model of symbiotic partnership where exporters offer technology transfer and market access to the smallholders.”

She was hopeful that farmers, who will benefit from this program, will employ good agronomic practices and pay detailed attention to their farms.

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