Solidaridad West Africa, a not-for-profit organisation, is collaborating with the African Coconut Group (ACG) to hold the Third edition of the International Coconut Festival in Ghana slated to commence today in Takoradi. The three-day event is on the theme: ‘Invest in Ghana’s Coconut Sector for an Inclusive Climate and Social Resilience.’ The 2023 edition was officially launched on August 10th, 2023 in Accra. Solidaridad West Africa aimed at fostering sustainable development in West Africa by enhancing the value chains of both agricultural and non-agricultural commodities, supporting farmers and production systems in the region. Mr Bossman Owusu, the Country Director of Solidaridad, said the Organisation recognised the strategic importance of coconut to enhance farmer livelihoods and Ghana’s economy at large. ‘We are happy to be associated with the Third International Coconut Festival with the Africa Coconut Group and partners to bring our expertise in supply chains to make the coconut value chain more inclusive and sustainable,’ he added. In 2017, the government of Ghana initiated the Coconut Revitalization Programme with the aim of fortifying the supply capacity of the coconut value chain and resuscitating a previously struggling sector. The primary objective of the three-day event is to stimulate greater interest among Ghanaians in the coconut industry, ultimately spurring increased production and exports. The festival is a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders, including the African Coconut Group, the Western Regional Coordinating Council, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), and the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA). This year’s festival boasts a diverse array of activities, ranging from seminars and mentorship programmes tailored for young entrepreneurs to farm visits and dedicated sessions aimed at empowering women involved in the coconut industry. Among the notable speakers scheduled to address the audience are the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, GEPA CEO Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, TCDA CEO, William Quaittoo, and Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah. The inaugural International Coconut Festival in Ghana was organised by the ACG in 2019, successfully bringing together exhibitors and key industry players to promote the coconut business. In 2019, the government of Ghana incorporated coconut into the mandate of the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA), which was established to oversee the development and regulation of the production, processing, marketing, and export of coconut and other selected tree crops. The contribution of the coconut sector to Ghana’s economy became evident in the non-traditional export figures for 2022. Notably, earnings from both fresh and processed coconuts reached $6.3 million and $6 million, respectively. Ghana’s export of desiccated coconut also demonstrated significant growth, reaching $21.9 million in 2021, a substantial increase from $6.3 million in 2020 and $3.8 million in 2019. This remarkable performance secured Ghana’s position as the 9th largest global exporter of desiccated coconut.
Source: Ghana News Agency