The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is urging individuals involved in the agribusiness value chain to improve on the standards of their goods if they are to access the international market, the Deputy CEO in charge of Finance and Operations, Samuel Dentu, has said.
He made these remarks at the Agribusiness session of the Ghana Rising Summit which was on the theme: Seizing New Agribusiness Opportunities.
According to Mr. Dentu, individuals in the agribusiness sector should be able to access the international market through the support provided by GEPA when they are able to meet the necessary standards.
Citing some examples, Mr. Dentu said: “In terms of the frustrations that you get in getting your product out and all that, you realized that there was a temporary ban on the export of vegetables and this was an internal mechanism for us to correct a situation.”
“We have has a lot of alerts as far as export of chilly pepper is concerned and so the point is that if you do not deal with it internally and you allow the importing country to ban you and it takes a very long time for such bans to be lifted. So, it is up to all those who wish to export their produce to meet the required standards and then we can help you get access to those markets,” he concluded
On his part, the national best farmer for 2018, James Boateng who was also a panelist for the session called on the government and all relevant stakeholders to channel efforts at growing the cashew sector to ensure its sustainability.
His comment comes on the back of the latest export figures which puts cashew as a leading contributor to non-traditional exports for 2018.
“There was so much interest in cashew production and I know that government has in the recent past said there was a bumper harvest, big sales and all that but cashew pricing dropped from 7 cedis per kilo to 1 cedi 50 pesewas. The reality is that if efforts are not redoubled, the big interest in cashew can go away,” he stressed.
Mr. Samuel Dentu however assured that some efforts are being put in place to support the cashew industry.
“The potential of cashew is huge and we just need to follow up with what the government is doing. There is a lot that we are doing as Ghana Export Promotion Authority, we are giving out free seedlings and spraying a lot of farms as well.”
In all these, the traditional banks have a role to play and the General Manager for Agribusiness at ADB, Kwame Asiedu Atrams shared his expectations of beneficiary companies.
“Startups have their own challenges in terms of what experience they have to be able to meet those big orders, once we are sure that you are very well vexed and have the experience in even using your own capital in addressing the challenges that come up, then we also have the confidence that when you are supported financially, you will succeed”.