The $5.3 billion earnings target for non-traditional exports (NTEs) by 2021 is realistic and achievable, Ms Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has said.
Speaking to the Ghanaian media at Ouagadougou, where she was to participate in the activities marking Ghana Day at the 15th edition of the SIAO fair, Ms Asare said strategies were put in place to meet the target.
She said while it was not going to be an easy task to double earnings in the next three years, GEPA was putting in place interventions in order to meet the target within the stipulated period.
“It is not going to be a simple task but we are sure the plans to scale up production of the NTE products such as cashew, mangoes, and vegetables would work for us to meet the goal,” she said.
GEPA has developed a 10-year development plan for cashew production, which includes value addition and has also committed GH¢4.2 million to secure 15 million suckers of pineapple for planting.
There is also the programme to introduce a pilot mass spraying and distribution of grafted cashew seedlings to farmers in Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo Region.
GEPA has also undertaken extensive consultations with all metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies to identify at least one crop from each district to be developed for export in line with government’s industrialisation agenda.
Ms Asare said all the interventions were expected to boost revenues in the next few years to enable GEPA to meet the target.
Earnings from NTEs amounted to $2.6 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 3.81 per cent over $2.5 billion in 2016.
The NTEs currently contributes 18.37 per cent to the total national merchandise exports of the country.
Ms Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, who was on hand on Tuesday to mark Ghana Day at the SIAO Fair, described Ghana’s participation in the fair as a success.
She said apart from exhibitors making business to business contacts, she was excited by the quality of products, including artefacts, batik-tie and dye, as well as woodcarvings, being exhibited the Ghanaians.
“I believe with a little help and training, we could have products that can compete favourably with others on the international market,” she said.
Ghana Export Promotion Authority is coordinating the participation of over 30 exhibitors in the 10-day fair, which is running from October 26 to November 4.
Held biennially in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the International Arts and Crafts Fair, known as Le Salon International de L’Artisanant de Ouagadougou (SIAO) in French is one of Africa’s most important trade shows for arts and handicrafts.
It shows a wide variety of artistic expression of African creativity, skills, beauty and functionality which also informs the world about Africa’s historical origins and cultural heritage.
This year’s edition, which also coincides with the 30th anniversary celebration since the institution of the fair, is being held on the theme: “African Handicrafts, Market Requirements and Technological Development.”