Tema Port to get terminal for agric products

BY: Salomey Appiah
Mr Richard Anamoo (2nd right), the Director General of the GPHA, showing Ms Krysta Harden (2nd left), the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, some of the packaged products for export

A terminal is to be constructed at the Tema Harbour to facilitate the import and export of agricultural products.

The project, to be funded by Super Maritime, a private local company, will be undertaken in partnership with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

Work on the project, to be executed at a cost of $10 million, is expected to begin in January 2016 and completed within eight months.

The Director General of the GPHA, Mr Richard Anamoo, made this known when a delegation of officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) visited the GPHA to familiarise themselves with activities at the port.

The USDA mission is in the country to explore opportunities to expand the export of food and agricultural products to the US market and vice versa.

The delegation, led by the Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Ms Krysta Harden, included representatives from 26 US agribusinesses and organisations who will later meet with potential producers of agricultural products.

The visit formed part of the trade mission of the USDA and agribusiness to meet officials of some countries across sub-Saharan Africa to forge relationships and learn about market conditions and the business environment in the region.

It was also to enable the delegation to obtain first-hand intelligence to help the US develop strategies to start or expand sales to those key markets.

The Tema Harbour, being the port of entry for imports and exit for exports, was visited by the delegation to familiarise itself with activities there.

They also visited a cocoa farm at Nsawam and the Blue Skies Processing Company, a private company, also at Nsawam.

Expansion project

Mr Anamoo described agriculture exports as low, representing about 20 per cent of the total exports that passed through the port.

He expressed optimism that a strong collaboration with the US would help increase the country’s agriculture exports.

On the expansion project at the Tema Port, he said $1.5 billion had been invested in it to enable the port to accommodate more cargo. 

The project, he said, would have capacity for 3.5 million 20 foot equivalent unit (TEU), in line with the GPHA’s master plan for the Tema Port.

The multi-purpose facility, he explained, would include a new 1.4-kilometre quay for four container berths.

It will also have a 16-metre draft and a 3.85-kilometre breakwater within a dredged port access channel.

Mr Anamoo indicated that the facility would be 19 metres deep and 250 metres wide to accommodate larger vessels.

He said the GPHA was currently challenged, as its railway system had broken down, forcing the authority to transport things within the sub-region by road.

Agricultural potential

Ms Harden said West Africa had a huge potential for agriculture investment in which the US was interested, “hence, the trade mission tour around the region to tap into the potential.

“We are serious about Ghana because it offers the US a great opportunity in the agricultural sector."

She said the sub-region’s strong economic outlook, its growing middle class and surging demand for consumer-oriented foods created a promising market for US food and agricultural products.

She explained that the mission included 22 US companies and four agricultural commodity trade associations, representing a variety of agriculture produce, including grains and feeds, peanuts, soybeans, meat and poultry products and agricultural machinery.

Top sub-Saharan Africa markets for US agriculture and related produce last year included Nigeria, $847 million; Angola, $298 million; South Africa, $259 million; Ghana, $129 million;  Ethiopia, $83 million and Kenya, $69 million.