22 June 1998
Diversification key to Ghana’s agriculture growth

GHANAS growth in agricultural exports is dependent on the African state diversifying from its long-term dependence on cocoa, reports the Financial Times in special section on the region.

The paper says the agricultural sector was “almost obliterated” in the 1980s. But since then it has begun to feed itself “a little more adequately”. Crops currently exported include robusta coffee, pineapples, mango, paw-paw, passion fruit, yams, cassava, bananas, cashews, black pepper and chilis.

But there are a number of issues that currently damage the non-cocoa agricultural sector. There is a lack of technology such as fumigation plants to screen crops. There are excessively high interest rates, of up to 35%, as well as interruptions to energy supplies, a welter of bureaucratic paperwork and a choked transport infrastructure.

Most importantly, there is also a minefield of political and bureaucratic difficulties surrounding land tenure rights.

  • Financial Times 22/06/98 page 14 (Ghana section)