The programme which is known as Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), when fully implemented will fetch Ghana billions of dollars.
Ghana could earn $12 billion from Planting for Export and Rural Development
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has launched a programme which will allow for the diversification for Ghana’s agricultural export capacity to include other tree crops with equal economic values as cocoa.
The programme has targeted 6 crops aside from cocoa. The crops are coconut, rubber, cashew, oil palm, coffee, and shea. The Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) is set to generate over 12 billion dollars in export.
According to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto, the six selected crops have the potential to outstrip cocoa and diversify the country's economy from the over-reliance on only one crop as the major export commodity.
"The Ghana Beyond Aid vision can only be achieved if we are able to increase our agricultural export capacity, this is what we hope to do through the PERD programme. The six crops combined can each fetch us $2BN in terms of exporting the raw materials alone and this does not include value addition."
The PERD is one of the components of the Government's agricultural flagship policy Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).
Other programmes include Rearing for Food and Jobs (RFJ)which is the livestock component, Agricultural Mechanization Centres (AMSEC) and Greenhouse Villages Initiatives.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto indicated that millions of seedlings had been nursed and were being distributed to farmers at the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) as part of the PERD programme.
The Minister also said that this did not mean that they would neglect the cocoa sector. He said the government was undertaking programmes to enhance cocoa revenues, including the proposed establishment of a $100 million cocoa processing factory at Sefwi Wiawso to add value to raw cocoa.
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