The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has provided five million pineapple suckers for cultivation to feed the Ekumfi Pineapple Processing Factory.
This is to help sustain the operations of the factory, which is currently under construction, as it will ensure the availability of raw materials for its operations.
A Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Mr Eric Amoako Twum, who disclosed this to a section of the media in Accra last Wednesday, said out-growers from Agona, Gomoa, Ekumfi and other adjoining districts that had subscribed to pineapple plantations, would supply their produce to feed the factory.
He spoke to the media on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of CEPA, Mrs Gifty Kekeli Klenam.
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According to Mr Twum, a local company, Billy Farms, has been contracted to supply the smooth cayenne pineapple suckers to smallholder farmers, with the biggest beneficiary being the Ekumfi factory.
“As the government institution with the mandate to develop and promote Ghana’s export trade, GEPA has undertaken similar interventions to engender growth of the export sector. Last year, it supported cashew farmers with GH¢1.6 million.
“The amount is expected to help the cashew farmers procure seedlings, herbicides, insecticides and farming tools,” he added.
The Ekumfi Pineapple Factory has the capacity to create over 4,000 direct jobs and additionally employ some 5,000 out-growers.
Mr Twum said the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would soon launch a Cashew Development Plan to ensure a sustainable production road map towards positioning cashew as an agricultural gold mine.
“The plan will help resolve issues of infrastructure and other needed government support for cashew. It further outlines measures to promote the production, sale and processing of the cash crop in the country,” he added.
Approximately 75,000 farmers are engaged in cashew cultivation in the country, with most of them located in the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Ashanti and Volta regions.
The authority has also supported the garments and textiles sector to establish an association to help the members achieve their objective of making a significant contribution to the economy under the US’s Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) dispensation and also create jobs for the youth of the country.
“The garments sector is considered the second largest employment sector in Ghana after agriculture, with the capacity to provide jobs for both the educated and less-educated youth and women,” Mr Twum said.
He further explained that the interventions by GEPA were a confirmation of the government’s readiness to fulfil its promises to transform the economy through job creation and export promotion to improve the country’s trade balance.