Ghana exported 70,052 metric tonnes of five different staple foods to neighboring countries last year.
2020 export figures
The figures for each staple food are maize: 17,240 metric tonnes, rice- 322 metric tonnes, yam- 31,127 metric tonnes, plantain- 20,667 metric tonnes, and soybean- 697 metric tonnes.
Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, announced this in Accra yesterday at the Minister’s media briefing.
418,450 metric tonnes exported between 2015 and 2020
Data made public by the sector Minister revealed that Ghana exported 418,450 metric tonnes of the five staple foods to neighboring countries between 2015 and 2020.
Staple foods exports since 2015
The annual export of the five staple foods in the past six years is 35,154 metric tonnes in 2015, 48,011 metric tonnes in 2016, 81,193 metric tonnes in 2017, 99,054 metric tonnes in 2018, and 84,986 metric tonnes in 2019.
2015 export figures
The figures for each staple food exported in 2015 are maize – 11,015 metric tonnes, rice- 3,400 metric tonnes, yam- 2,489 metric tonnes, plantain- 16,052 metric tonnes, and soybean- 2,198 metric tonnes.
2016 export figures
The figures for each staple food exported in 2016 are maize – 10,909 metric tonnes, rice- 3,066 metric tonnes, yam- 10,503 metric tonnes, plantain- 21,459 metric tonnes and soyabean- 2,073 metric tonnes.
2017 export figures
The figures for each staple food exported in 2017 are maize – 19,666 metric tonnes, rice- 3,671 metric tonnes, yam- 13,352 metric tonnes, plantain- 40,935 metric tonnes, and soybean- 3,569 metric tonnes.
2018 export figures
The figures for each staple food exported in 2018 are maize – 23,483 metric tonnes, rice- 3,527 metric tonnes, yam- 24,667 metric tonnes, plantain- 43,802 metric tonnes, and soybean- 3,575 metric tonnes.
2019 export figures
The figures for each staple food exported in 2019 are maize – 14,128 metric tonnes, rice- 759 metric tonnes, yam- 29,078 metric tonnes, plantain- 40,190 metric tonnes, and soybean- 830 metric tonnes.
Agric export earning to increase 8 folds in 10 years
Dr. Afriyie Akoto, projected Ghana’s agriculture export earnings to increase by eight times of its current earnings in the next decade.
This, he said should earn the country revenue close to $2.5 billion, the same as the amount Ghana earns from cocoa each year.
Export revenue projected to hit $16 billion
With the establishment of the Tree Crop Development Authority, the Minister was hopeful Ghana’s agriculture earnings could see an increase to $16 billion in the next 10 years.
He listed cashew, shea, mango, coconut, rubber, and oil palm which he said could help Ghana achieve the projected figure.
Maize production hits 2,019,000 metric tonnes in 2020
Dr. Akoto also said maize production increased to 2,019,000 metric tonnes in 2020 despite the shortages in fertilizer supply.
Rice production hits 919,000 metric tonnes in 2020
Rice production also increased to 919,000 metric tonnes with Soybean also recording an increase to 193,000 metric tonnes.
94% increase in maize yields per hectare
Between 2016 and 2020, the minister said the yield of maize witnessed a 94% increase in metric tonnes per hectare.
From 1.7 metric tonnes in 2016, it went to 3.5 metric tonnes in 2017, 3.5 metric tonnes in 2018, 3.8 metric tonnes in 2019, and dropped to 3.3 metric tonnes due to drought.
67% increase in rice yields per hectare
In respect of rice, Dr. Afriyie Akoto said it recorded a 67% increase in yields per hectare rising from 2.7 metric tonnes in 2016 to 4 metric tonnes in both 201 and 2018, and inched up further to 4.3 metric tonnes in 2019 and 4.5 metric tonnes in 2020.
82% increase in sorghum yields per hectare
The Minister said sorghum recorded an 82% increase in yield per hectare going up from 1.1 metric tonnes in 2016 to 1.24 metric tonnes in 2018, 1.39 metric tonnes in 2019, and 2 metric tonnes in 2020.
6% decline in soybean yields per hectare
Soybean on the other recorded a 6% decline during the five periods recording 1.7 metric tonnes in 2016, 3 metric tonnes in 2017, 3 metric tonnes in 2018, 2 metric tonnes in 2019 and dropped to 1.6 metric tonnes in 2020 due to drought.
High increase in fertilizer application
According to him, fertilizer usage which was 134,000 metric tonnes in 2016 dropped to 121,000 metric tonnes in 2017 and subsequently experienced the following increases; 247,039 metric tonnes in 2018, 331,348 metric tonnes in 2019, 423, 473 metric tonnes in 2020 and 2021 has a target of 520,000 metric tonnes.
Seeds supply hits 29,500 metric tonnes in 2020
For expanded quantities of seeds supplied under the food crops module, it increased from 2,700 metric tonnes in 2016 to 4,400 metric tonnes in 2017, 6,822 metric tonnes in 2018, 18,333 metric tonnes in 2019, 29,500 metric tonnes in 2020, and a target of 40,000 metric tonnes in 2021.
He said the government will continue to provide adequate support to farmers through the improvement in extension service delivery and the provision of seeds to farmers so Ghana’s yield will continue on this positive trajectory.
Situation prior to PFJ
Painting Ghana’s agriculture situation prior to the inception of Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) in 2017 he said it includes only 11% of food crop farmers using improved seeds, about 15% of farmers using fertilizers, fertilizer application rates were 8kg per hectare, extension-Farmer Ratio was 1:1,900 and a total number of extension agents was 1,560.
Others are yields of most staple crop varieties such maize, rice & root tubers were between 40%-45% of potential yields, vegetable exports to the European Union (EU) market banned, rising devastating effects of the Fall Army Worm (FAW) on crops especially maize and all 68 mechanization centers were down and providing no service to farmers.