The export of foodstuffs to neighbouring countries has soared in the last five years, buoyed by the agricultural flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs, data from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) have indicated.
Between 2015 and 2019, GH¢868.13 million was realised from the export of foodstuffs to neighbouring countries.
The foodstuffs, with a volume of 563,859.33 tonnes, were exported to Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin and Northern Nigeria over the period.
They included banana, cabbage/green pepper, citrus/orange, cowpea, gari, ginger, groundnuts, palm fruits, palm oil and pawpaw.
Others were plantain, rice, sorghum, soya beans, white maize, yam and yellow maize.
Volume of exports
Statistics available to the Daily Graphic show that in 2015, the export of foodstuffs to neighbouring countries amounted to GH¢84.07 million, shooting up to GH¢124.1 million in 2016 and further to GH¢206 million in 2017.
The surge in exports continued in 2018 when GH¢265.58 million worth of foodstuffs was exported.
However, the figure dipped in 2019 to GH¢188.36 million because prices of foodstuffs saw a significant drop that year as a result of glut.
In terms of volumes, in 2015 the grand total of foodstuffs exported amounted to 61,463.57 tonnes, while in 2016 the export volumes went up to 85,015.68 tonnes.
In 2017 and 2018, the figures shot up to 130,937.70 tonnes and 153,582.07 tonnes, respectively, while in 2019 the figure dropped to 133,508.30 tonnes.
The foodstuffs were exported from the Agogo, Offinso and Ejura Sekyeredumase districts, all in the Ashanti Region; the Chereponi and Tatale districts in the Northern Region; Bawku in the Upper East Region; Hamile and Sissala East in the Upper West Region; Techiman, Atebubu-Amantin and Kintampo, all in the Bono East Region; Wenchi in the Bono Region and Elubo in the Western Region.
The Offinso District was the leading exporter between 2015 and 2019, with a total volume of 152,380.44 tonnes, followed by Agogo, with a total of 111,741 tonnes, and Techiman, with 65,393.74 tonnes, while Bawku exported the least during the period under review with 9,738.20 tonnes.
Burkina Faso topped in the importation of varied foodstuffs such as rice, pawpaw, palm fruit, sorghum, cowpea, gari, banana, groundnuts, yellow and white maize, amounting to 92,319.40 tonnes, while Cote d’Ivoire followed, with 14,222.25 tonnes, mainly yam, maize, cowpea, citrus and onions.
Mali imported only yam and gari, representing the least in terms of volume of 1,180.40 tonnes.
Togo was the third highest importer of mainly agrochemicals, vegetables, white maize, soya beans and plantain, up to 11,133.53 tonnes, with Niger placing fourth with an import volume of 7,439.40 tonnes, mainly made up of yam. – Graphic