The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) is projecting a $I6 billion annual revenue from the tree crop sector by 2028.
According to MoFA, the tree crops industry has great economic potentials, hence MoFA’s commitment to collaborate with all partners and actors along the value chain to develop the sector.
Acting Manager of Wenchi Agricultural Research Station, Emmanuel Owusu-Poku, who disclosed this, stated that government through MoFA, is actively putting measures in place to ensure the growth and development of the tree crop sector through the operations of the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA).
The Acting Director stated this in a statement to the newly inaugurated National Association of Private Tree Crop Nursery Operators (NAPTCNO). The association provides a platform for registered private tree crop nursery operators to participate and benefit from national policies and advocacy discussions on tree crop development.
It further offers the needed atmosphere for effective collaboration with value chain actors for the sustainable development of the tree crop sector in Ghana.
Significance of NAPTCNO in the value chain
Mr. Owusu-Poku said MoFA, especially the Directorate of Crop Services, is happy to see the tree crop value chain actors forming associations, stressing “this is what the ministry has been looking forward to see, so as to grow the tree crop sub-sector”.
He urged the nursery operators to be mindful of the quality of planting materials they produce and deliver to farmers.
“As you are aware, the quality of the inputs determines the quality of output so let us adhere to all the necessary nursery management practices to produce quality planting materials”.Mr. Owusu-Poku
On his part, a Tree Crop and Environment Specialist with Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA), Ernest Adzim, the potential for tree crops to contribute to the eradication of rural poverty and development of Ghana’s economy is enormous. This, according to him, is a call to action for all to get on board as the industry is being developed.
“Since March 2020, MEDA has been running a mobile-based training program for farmers on good agricultural practices, environmental protection, farm business management and the need for increased women participation in tree crop farming through Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEATS) project”.Ernest Adzim
Need to improve wellbeing of farmers
Mr. Adzim added that the FEATS Project aims to improve the economic well-being of some 100,000 farmers and other participants in 4 major tree crops in Ghana including Rubber, Cashew, Shea, and Cocoa.
The Tree Crop Specialist said “MEDA is thus happy that through its efforts, the otherwise inactive Association of Nursery Operators has found a new sense of purpose, reorganized, and is launching itself today”.
Mr. Adzim encouraged the association to forge a stronger bond with other key players such as the farmers’ associations, and most importantly, the Tree Crops Development Authority and other state agencies for the improvement of the tree crop sector.
Chairman of the Association of Private Tree Crop Nursery Operators, Patrick Tawiah, explained that the association aims to produce more improved seedlings for the enhancement of the local tree crop industry as well as for export. He further appealed to government to get the association involved in the production of tree crop seedlings for the greening Ghana project.