GEPA supports exporters with 11.3 million pineapple suckers

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By Julius K. Satsi, GNA

Ekumfi (C/R), Sept. 14, GNA – The Ghana
Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA) has given out 11.3 million suckers to
exporters and outgrowers towards increasing the value of exported pineapples
from the country.

The Authority gave various types of
pineapple suckers such as MD2, Smooth cayene, and Sugar loaf to more than seven
exporters and farmers in the country including; the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices
Limited AlbeFarms and Lovely Farms among others.

Mr Samuel Dentu, the Deputy Chief Executive
Officer of GEPA said the suckers were supplied based on applications that were
made by the various companies adding that the 11.3 million suckers were those
that were ready at the moment.

He said going forward, more would be given
to other farmers.

He said the Authority, was much interested
in raising the value of exports from all non-traditional export products and
pineapple was one.

He said a recent GEPA 2018 Report launched
on export performance realised that pineapple export values were going down and
that it was worrying to the Authority.

Mr Dentu said the 2018 GEPA Report provided
the Authority with an opportunity to do more towards promoting exports of more
value added products from Ghana.

He said the exercise was part of a project
started in 2017 with the aim of encouraging exports in terms of the values of
exports realised from pineapples – both the processed and non-processed.

He said: “At GEPA, we encourage more of the
processing of our materials before they go out as that is where the value comes
from, so we are happy to be doing this at the grounds of Ekumfi Fruits and
Juices Limited, where much of the pineapples will be processed.”

The Deputy CEO said although the pineapples
would be processed before exports, there are other customers out there in the
world market who want the raw pineapples, adding that “We expect that with this
project, we are going to increase the numbers that we would export as far
pineapple is concerned”.

Mr Dentu said the pineapple suckers were
supplied based on applications that were made by the various companies adding
that going forward, when more suckers were ready, the Authority would give to
more farmers.

He said the Authority had so far given out a
total of 20.2million suckers of pineapple to 12 exporters and more than 100 out
growers.

He urged farmers and the exporters to ensure
that the right things were done to ensure the better growth of the pineapple
towards achieving the objectives for giving the suckers out.

Mr Frederick Kobbyna Aquaah, the Director of
Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Limited commended GEPA for the project, saying
the lifeline of what was done at the factory was pineapple suckers.

He said the capacity of the Ekumfi Fruits
and Juices Limited was high and that the factory needed 1,600 acres of which
they would want to do more.

He said more support was needed in the form
of pineapple suckers to produce more towards feeding the factory as it prepares
to commence full scale operations latest by the end of this year.

The GEPA team led by Madam Afua Asabea
Asare, the Chief Executive Officer toured the Ekumfi Fruits and Juice Factory
to familiarise themselves with operations and suggested ways of making the
company more relevant both locally and internationally.

GNA

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