the Coconut Federation of Ghana (CoCoFeG), Patrick Arlloo Abiah, has praised
President Akufo-Addo for his commitment and contribution to the advancement of the
He said the federation
had enjoyed massive support under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo following
the launch of the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) programme.
PERD is a
collaborative implementation initiative between the Ministry for Food and
Agriculture; and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development that
seeks to diversify the Ghanaian economy from cocoa dependency to a more wider
export portfolio with an aim to generate at least two billion dollars from each
of the seven commodities under the programme namely coconut, cashew, coffee,
oil palm, mango, shea and rubber.
At a press
conference held Friday, in Accra, Abiah enumerated some remarkable achievements
his outfit had chalked under the PERD programme, some of which included the
successful formalization of the Ghanaian coconut industry following the birth
of the federation and the passing of the National Tree Crop Development
Authority (NTCDA) bill by Parliament in December, last year.
that the coconut industry struggled over the years to gain recognition and
support from policymakers due to neglect in the wake of high incidence of large
coconut farms being wiped off by the Cape St. Paul’s Wilt (CSPW) disease, weak
marketing and pricing regimes, poor access to farm inputs and the lack of
support for the production of certified planting and marketing materials.
actors in Ghana were left to their fate, struggling through activities with no
support system, thereby becoming vulnerable to other patrons of coconut produce,
products and its derivatives,” he narrated, adding that many farmers have abandoned
their farms while others have diversified from coconut, making coconut-dependent
businesses to struggle to survive the market.
“the Coconut Federation experienced the greatest joy when finally President
Akufo-Addo launched the PERD programme,” he added.
He also made special mention of key
individuals whose efforts and contributions have inured to the overall success
of the federation including the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu
Afriyie-Akoto; Hajia Halima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural
Development and Dr. Yaw Adu-Ampomah, Coordinator of the PERD Technical Advisory
Committee, among several others.
Abiah assured that with the strong collaboration between the federation and other key stakeholders, the Ghanaian coconut industry would become the fastest growing industry to achieve the two-billion-dollar annual target within the shortest possible time.
By Asieduwaa Mary