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Mango production would be enrolled on the “one district one factory” initiative – Minister

By
Kwamina Tandoh, GNA

Kpong (E/R), July 30, GNA – Dr Owusu Afriyie
Akoto, the Minister for Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has said Government would
clasp mango production into the one district one factory policy to create jobs
and wealth for the youth and women. 

He said the Ministry of Local Government was
working MOFA to support the mango producing districts to encourage more youth
to take mango production.

“We will embrace this project, because, apart
from the job creation, mango plantations contribute to stabilizing the
environment and ecosystem.

“It plays the dual role of commercial
plantations as well as afforestation in a very fast degrading environment due
to agricultural activities”, he said.

Dr Afriyie Akoto said this in a speech read on
his behalf at the first day of a two-day Ghana Mango Week event held under the
theme: “Mango, Ghana’s green gold: Growing for food and creating jobs”.

It was organised by The West Africa Trade and
Investment Hub in collaboration with the Federation of the Association of
Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), German Cooperation/Deutsche Zusammenarbett (GIZ) and
the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).

The symposium brought together 250 farmers,
producers, exporters, processors, dealers, financial institutions, government
representatives, donors and service providers to unlock Ghana’s mango potential
and contribute to the country’s effort to enhance exports and accelerate
economic growth in the domestic fruit processing industry.

He said the world production exceeds 43 million
metric tonnes yearly and the demand for mangoes keeps rising adding that Ghana
was one of the few countries that is able to produce mangoes two times in a
year.

He said statistics shows that in 2016, Ghana
exported 2,122 metric tonnes of fresh mangoes valued at US$ 11.6 million aside
the fresh cuts, juiced and dried mangoes.

Dr Afriyie Akoto said challenges that had
confronted the industry included the fruit fly menace, the bacteria black spot,
mealy bugs, climate change effects, high cost of input, limited credit and
financing of the industry and land problems.

He said government would continue to work with
various stakeholders to fashion out workable interventions facing the industry.

Madam Carol Adoum, the Chief of Party, Trade
Hub, urged farmers to be cognizant of the uniformity and standards when packing
and presenting their produce for exports.

Mr Fredrick Aryee, the President of FAGE, said
local farmers should seek to add value locally to their yields which will
definitely create jobs and wealth.

Nana Osei-Bonsu, the Chief Executive Officer
of the Private Enterprise Federation, appealed to the foreign partners to not
only assist in organizing celebrations, but to also assist local farmers with
the requisite knowledge and technology to produce the type that meets the
quality standards to compete at the international markets.

Mr Ben Morrison, a representative of GIZ,
urged farmers to apply the knowledge they have acquired in their farming
activities.

Mr Samuel Asante Mensah, the Director Agriculture
and Food Security Programme ADRA- Ghana, said the USAID-ADRA Food Security
Project in 1997-2007 has supported 1000 farmers.

The farmers were taken through topics
including; management and control of bacteria black spot disease, management of
fruit and anthracnose control, using new methods to increase mango production
among others aimed to provide a leap in growth of the mango industry in Ghana.

Others were developing the local good
agricultural practices for mango production and exports and developing markets
for mangoes.

GNA

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