The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says government will soon inaugurate the Tree Crop Development Authority to boost export of crops such as cashew and cocoa.
The Tree Crop Authority, which is part of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme, has been passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.
Speaking at a ceremony to launch a 600-million-dollar syndicated loan for COCOBOD, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the establishment of the Authority will boost foreign earnings from tree crops.
“Among the five modules of the Planting for Food and Jobs flagship programme, is a tree crop module that we call Planting for Rural Export Development under which seven tree crops have been selected for development. In order that this is implemented, a law has now been passed by the Parliament of Ghana and assented to by the President of the Republic, establishing the Tree Crop Development Authority, which is going to come into action this year.
“The Tree Crop Development Authority aims to diversify the country’s earnings and soar up the country’s foreign exchange earnings. The module was inspired by the success story of cocoa in terms of its massive contribution to development in Ghana.,” he said.
The 7-tree-crop, includes cashew, mango, oil palm, coconut, rubber and shea.
The Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), is the third policy that has been introduced by government in the last three years to boost the agricultural sector.
Last year, government through a joint effort with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture rolled out the PERD programme to develop nine commodity value chains namely cashew, coffee, cotton, coconut, citrus, oil palm, mango, rubber and shea through a decentralised system.
The programme seeks to create a sustainable raw material base to spur up the industrialisation drive for the One District, One Factory initiative.
The 5-year PERD programme will support one million farmers in 170 districts with certified free planting materials to cover over one million hectares of farmlands.
It will also engage 10,000 young graduates as crop specialized extension officers.