Butternut squash – a new export product from Ghana


The Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) has introduced butternut squash, a fruit as a new export product from Ghana.

Butternut, belongs to a group of crops collectively called cucurbit (a member of the gourd family, which includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber), it is technically a fruit because it contains seeds. Cut into its pale, yellow-beige hard skin one would discover a vibrant flesh that is much denser than that of its relatives.

The fruit can be roasted and toasted and also pureed for soup or mashed into casseroles, bread, muffins and also used in many ways as potatoes can be used.

Experts say it is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, low in fat, and delivers an ample dose of dietary fibre, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice.

It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.

The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spin bifida.

EDIF with the mandate to develop products for export, has embarked on a pilot of butternut squash at the request of EDIF’s strategic marketing partners, Minor, Weir and Willis based in the United Kingdom (UK).

The request came about because the fruit cannot be planted in winter and has so far been successful on a 15-acre land each at Gomoa Fete Kakraba in the Central Region, and Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region and a 30-acre land in Somanya in the Eastern bringing the total area under cultivation to 60 acres.

At a press briefing in Accra on Thursday, Nana Yeboa-Kodie Asare II, Member of EDIF Board, said the Fund was supporting a pilot production of butter squash for export to the UK, and other crops to be piloted also on request were sweet potatoes and melons.

Nana Asare said it was the first time that the Fund had secured a market even before the produce was ready and called on all and sundry to get on board.

He explained that the seeds were hybrid and imported from South Africa and to maintain standards, interested farmers would have their farms certified by the importing country.

After the certification farmers would be supervised by a nucleus group of farmers, who are already participating to ensure that the best practices are undertaken.

This is to ensure that supply does not exceed demand and interested farmers would be supported by EDIF.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of EDIF, Agyabeng Antwi-Agyei said EDIF decided to invest in the product to diversify the country’s non-traditional export base and help to increase its export earnings.

He noted that revenue from butternut (which has a 90-day maturity period) did not come close to cocoa and that about GH¢370,000 had been invested (from seedlings to export destination) but could not disclose how much was expected in revenue until after six out of nine containers shipped last Tuesday had arrived in the UK.

“The yields are just great. In confidence, invest in it and you will never lose” he said and added that a socio economic impact of the pilot project was to provide means of livelihood in short and medium term to participating farmers and create jobs to reduce employment.

After the pilot phase of the project, EDIF would seek to increase the production by involving more farmers for production and export of butternut squash in large quantities for the European market and also develop the local market.

“All indicators show that butternut squash project will be successful,” he added.

Source: GNA

  1. Samuel Kennedy Ballace says

    I am a staff of KNUST very much interested in farming and would like to be part of the butternut squash program. How do I get the seeds for planting?

  2. Nana Kusi says

    This is a very laudable idea and am willing to invest in it.How can I be part of this great opportunity?

  3. Kojo Baah says

    Great work by EDIF, am a young farmer who grows varietsies of fruits and vegetables at Gomoa in the centural regoin with a land area of 30acres and would like to take this opportunity and invest heavily in this great idea. Please contact me immediately for me to go through all process and provide me with the seeds to grow now.
    by the way i did grow about an acre of pumpkin last year on my farm.

  4. phanuel says

    hi there , i would like to know more about this fruit and cultivate it seriously.
    thank you

  5. Philip says

    Please am very much interested in this project and I can organize A farmer group at Bawjiase in the Central region please let me know what am supposed to do. Thank you
    Best Regards Philip

  6. Frederick Doku says

    Thank you for this opportunity,I grow yellow melons and cantaloupes plus other fruits and vegetables which i would like to offer for market at the first place.I am also very interested in the butternut and would like to grow it at demand,this is my number 0206604213 ,thank you.

  7. Kojo Boateng says

    I am diseases control officer and a farmer at Ejura I am interested in cultivating the butternut squash, how would I get the seeds for planting?
    please help me.Thank you.

  8. osei tutu says

    am young graduate very much interested in farming and would like to be part of the butternut squash program. How do I get the seeds for planting?

  9. Boateng KWAME EMMANUEL says

    i am a young graduate n have a land with which i want to start the butternut squash..how do i get the seed for planting.thank you

  10. sulemana alhassan atakpo says

    I am a young vegetable farm who is successful in this area and as such would like to plant butternut squash in my farm, how and where will I get the seed to buy and if I plant it how will I export it for I’ve never exported a product before

  11. Eli Marquaye says

    Thank you for this opportunity, I am a vegetable grower and interested in growing the butternut squash on a large scale for export. I will be grateful if you can show me how and where I can access the planting material as well as the technical support in growing and marketing the product. My site is at Gomoa Budu Atta.

  12. Godfried Ohene-Mensah says

    I am a Development officer in charge of Crops at Berekum MOFA and together with some friends we want to undertake production of the Butternut squash on large scales for export.could you please assist me with the technical know how and where to get the planting materials. Information on marketing would also be very help.
    thank you.

  13. Kobby osei says

    I have a 400 acre farmland situated at Gomeo Dominase with a big Dam on it. i will like to diversify into the growing of this butternut squash for export.. Your advice will be timely. Thanks

  14. Anonymous says

    I have always wanted to go into butternut production but where to get the seed has been the problem. I therefore will be grateful if EDIF can help. Thank you!

  15. Adu Agyapong says

    i love farming of all kind as it man’s and how do i get started of this kind

  16. Sayibu Yakubu says

    I am a farmer who want to produce the butternut in Northern Region. Please where can we get the seeds in the Northern Region?

  17. william says

    would want to add value to the butternut squash for both our local and foreign markets

  18. ERNEST DANSO says

    I am a farmer who want to produce the butternut in Ketu south .please where can i get the seed

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