Ghana is set to make billions of dollars from other tree crops aside cocoa following the successful implementation of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), the Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has said. 

The Agric Ministry in collaboration with the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry has launched an ambitious programme to diversify the country’s agricultural export capacity to include other tree crops with equal economic values as cocoa. 

PERD, six major tree crops namely Coconut,  Rubber, Cashew,  Oil Palm, Coffee and Shea, the PERD is set to generate over Twelve Billion Dollars in export. 

According to the Minister, the six tree 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 $2 billion in terms of exporting the raw materials alone and this does not include value addition” the Minister noted at a recent Cocoa Value Chain Summit organised by Ecobank in Accra. 

The PERD is one of the components of 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 Initiative. 

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto said 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 highlighted a number of programmes which have been put in place by government to enhance the revenue earned from cocoa, including the proposed establishment of a $100 million cocoa processing factory at Sefwi Wiawso to add value to raw cocoa.