The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto is courting the Moroccan business community to patronise Ghana’s chocolate and other finished agricultural products for the Moroccan market.
He has, therefore, scheduled a series of meetings with the business community in Morocco to sell the idea of them placing orders for Ghana’s processed cocoa products such as chocolate, roasted ground coffee and processed shea nuts.
During a courtesy call on the Morrocan Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Forests, Mr Aziz Akhannouch in Meknes in Morocco, he invited the Morocco business community to patronise the products.
Dr Akoto appealed to his counterpart to use his office to mobilise the Moroccan business community for business to business session to deep the business relations between the two countries.
The visit was on an invitation of Mr Akhannouch when he accompanied the King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI to Ghana last year.
The minister was accompanied by the Ghana’s Ambassador to Morocco, Mr Stephen M.D. Yakubu, the Deputy Minister of Chieftancy and Religious Affairs Mr Paul Essien, Special Advisor and Head of Government Results Delivery, Nana Serwaa Bonsu, the Managing Director (MD) of the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Nana Agyenim Boateng and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Gas Company Ltd Dr Ben Asante among others.
Dr Akoto is in Morocco as head of Ghana’s delegation to participate in the 13th edition of the annual “Salon International Agriculture Fair of Morocco, (SIAM) 2018 in Meknes, Morocco to showcase Ghana’s agricultural sector and some of its commercial crops.
The delegation is expected to take advantage of the exhibition to seek collaboration and partnership in the agricultural sector with their Moroccan counterparts.
Morocco International Fair
Participating in the exhibition from Ghana are the Ghana Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Ghana Produce Buying Company (PBC) and the Plantation Resources Ltd, a private cocoa, coffee, palm oil producing company.
The 2018 edition of the annual exhibition brings together the business community in the agricultural sector both in Africa and other countries to showcase their cutting edge technology and to create a platform for interaction and sharing of best practices.
The fair was officially opened by the Prince of the Kingdom of Morroco, Prince Moulay Hassan, is being participated by 1,400 exhibitors from 67 countries with more than 850,00 visitors expected to visit the five-day fair.
The SIAM, through its role as a platform for exchanging ideas, networking and exhibiting the latest agricultural technology, forms part of the development strategy of the Moroccan agriculture.
Exporting cocoa to Morocco
Dr Akoto told his counterpart that Morocco had the market for Ghana’s chocolate and processed agricultural products, adding that unlike previously Ghana was only exporting the raw cocoa beans, the new government was committed to adding value to cocoa before exporting in order to maximise proceeds from cocoa.
He later presented samples of the different varieties of chocolate from Ghana and also briefed his counterpart of other cash crops, such as coffee and shea nuts, which were also being cultivated in commercial quantities.
Dr Akoto said, just like the cocoa, the coffee and shea nuts were also being processed in Ghana before exporting, telling his counterpart that there was a huge opportunity in the agricultural sector in Ghana and investors in that sector were welcomed.
Speaking to journalists, he said, “we have come to explore with the honourable minister, the possibility of exporting Ghana’s chocolate to Morocco,” describing the response from his counterpart as “very positive.”
Dr Akoto said he was also in Morocco to seek expert knowledge of greenhouse technology and how Morocco with its vast knowledge in that area could help Ghana to develop Dawenya in the Greater Accra Region as greenhouse village.
He told his counterpart that Ghana had three major areas for greenhouse technology farming and identified them as Dawenya, where some greenhouse farming was on-going, Kasoa and Akomandan.
Dr Akoto said government was looking at the Morocco business community in the greenhouse technology to invest in Ghana in a public private partnership (PPP) agreement to help Ghana maximise the vegetable export market.
Ties between the two countries
He said such collaborations were necessary to deepen the already existing ties between the two countries, which dated back to Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Dr Akoto said the visit by the King last and his visit this year would revive and strengthen the economic and bilateral ties between the two countries.
Responding, Mr Akhannouch was happy that Dr Akoto made the time to visit Morocco and pledged to arrange the Moroccan business community to meet their Ghanaian counterparts even before the end of the exhibition.
He proposed that there should be regular exchange programme for the business community of the two countries and business fora to strengthen their business ties.