Agriculture has a greater impact on poverty reduction than other sectors in Ghana’s economy and is critical for rural development and associated cultural values, social stabilization, environmental sustainability and buffer during economic  shocks.  The  sector  currently  employs  about  48%  of  the  total workforce. Although its share of GDP has decreased in recent years, it continues to be vital to growth.

Low levels of mechanization and the effects of drought and climate change are threatening to slow or curtail sector growth. The government’s commitment to investing in technologies and establishing new policies to protect and support the industry are promising. With a number of crops and segments performing well  below capacity, there is ample opportunity for greater investment and modernization from private sector players.

Table 1.1-Facts and Figures (2016) at a glance

SECTOR CONTRIBUTION
Agriculture Total Agricultural Land Area: 13,628,179Ha (MOFA, 2015)   Area under cultivation(MOFA, 2015): 6,421,450 Ha   Total Area under irrigation (MOFA, 2015): 221,000Ha   Others (forest reserves, savannah woodland, etc.)- 8,746,021Ha   Main Sub-sectors:
– Crops Production: Food and cash crops
– Animal Production: Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries
– Forestry

National Real GDP (2016)-GHS168,738,380,320  
Agricultural Sector’s Contribution to GDP: 20.1%
    Real Agricultural GDP Growth Rate: 3.6%
Crops Contribution to Agric GDP: GHS 748.8 million
Crop Sub-sector GDP Growth Rate: 0.8%
Main Crops exported: Yam, Fruits (Banana, Pineapple, and Oranges), Vegetables (Dried Pepper, Onions/Shallots), Shea Nuts, Cashew nuts, and kola nuts.
Cocoa Contribution to Agric GDP: GHS 4880.5 million
Cocoa Sub-sector GDP Growth Rate: 2.5%
Cocoa Production: 850,000mt
Livestock Livestock Sub-sector contribution to Agric GDP:GHS 714.1million
Main Livestock Produced: Poultry, Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Pigs
Fisheries Contribution To Agric GDP: GHS490.9 million  
Fisheries Sub-sector GDP Growth Rate: 4.4%  
Main Fishery Products Exported: Tuna, Frozen Fish, Dried/Smoked
Forestry Contribution to Agric GDP: GHS815.2million
Forestry Sub-sector GDP Growth Rate:4.1%
Main Forestry Products Exported: Timber, Lumber, Game and Wildlife

Agro-Ecological Conditions

Ghana’s agriculture sector has ecological and climate advantages that make it an attractive destination for  investment in agriculture. Its climate and environmental conditions are suited for the production of a variety of food and industrial crops.

Agro-Ecological Zones

Ghana has six distinct agro-ecological zones, which are defined by climate, natural vegetation and soil conditions. Table 3.1 shows agro-ecological conditions of each zone including mean annual rain, major growing period and minor growing period.

Table 3.1- Conditions of Agro-Ecological Zones

Agro-Ecological Zone Mean Annual Rain (mm) Major Growing Period (Days) Minor Growing Period (Days)
Rain Forest 2,200 150-160 100
Deciduous Forest 1,500 150-160 90
Transitional 1,300 200-220 60
Coastal Savanna 800 100-110 50
Guinea Savanna 1,100 180-200 N/A
Sudan Savanna 100 150-160 N/A

Source: MOFA, 2015

The northern savannah zone is the largest  agricultural zone. Most of the nation’s supply of rice, millet, sorghum, yam, tomatoes, cattle, sheep, goat and cotton are grown in the region. In recent times, mangoes, cotton and ostrich commercial farms are also gaining footholds in the northern zone.

The coastal savannah is notable for rice, maize, cassava, vegetables, sugar cane, mangoes  and  coconut cultivation  as well  as livestock  rearing.  Sweet potato and soybean crops are also viable in this agro–ecological zone, under irrigation. The lower part of this zone is drained by the River Volta and other streams  and  lagoons.  These  water  resources  present  opportunities  for  fish farming (aquaculture).

The forest vegetation zone consists of parts of Western, Eastern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions. The northern savannah vegetation zone includes the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region while the coastal savannah includes mainly the Central, Greater Accra and parts of Volta Region.

In the forest zones where rainfall is very heavy, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, cashew, rubber, plantain, banana and citrus crops are mostly cultivated in these areas.

The major strengths of the agricultural sector include a diversity of commodities, well-endowed drainage basin, a well-established agricultural research system and a relative proximity to the European market.

Table 3.2 -Land Area by Region

Region Area (000 sq. km.) % of Total Area for Agriculture
Western 23.92 10.03
Central 9.83 4.12
Greater Accra 3.24 1.36
Volta 20.57 8.62
Eastern 19.32 8.10
Ashanti 24.39 10.23
Brong Ahafo 39.56 16.58
Northern 70.38 29.51
Upper East 8.84 3.71
Upper West 18.48 7.75
Total 238.53 100.00

Source: The Ghana Survey Dept. Accra (2015)

Climate

The climate of Ghana is tropical. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry. The south west corner is hot and humid, and the north is hot and dry. Annual average temperatures range from 26.1ºC in places near the coast to 28.9 ºC in the extreme north. It is usually breezy and sunny. Day time temperatures may rise above 40ºC in the north.

There are two rainy seasons in the south from March to July and from September to October (bimodal rainfall system). The northern part of the country, on the other hand, has only one rainy season, from July to September (mono-modal rainfall system). These define the farming seasons of Ghana (Major and Minor seasons).

Topography

The topography is predominantly undulating, with slopes less than 1%. Even though the slopes are gentle, about 70% of the country is subject to moderate to severe sheet and gully erosion.

Soils

The soils have predominantly light textured surface horizons in which sandy loams and loams are common. Lower soil horizons have slightly heavier textures varying from coarse sandy loams to clays. Heavier textured soils occur in many valley bottoms and in parts of the Accra Plains. Many soils contain abundant coarse material either gravel and stone, or concretionary materials which affect their physical properties.

Table 6.1- Fertility Status of Soils in Some Regions

Region Soil pH % Organic matter %Total Nitrogen Available Phosphorus (mg/kg soil) Available Calcium (mg/kg soil)
Ashanti: 1.Offinso- Ejura   2. Kwadaso Juaso, Obuasi   5.3-7.8       4.3-7.0     1.5-3.0         1.5-3.0     0.2-0.3         0.1-0.2     0.12-12         0.12-12     50-100         50-100
Western 3.8-7.1 1.03-5.7 0.06-5.4 0.35-11.25 28-420
Brong Ahafo 3.5-6.7 0.34-1.69 n.a 0.12-64.25 16-140.3
Greater Accra 5.4-8.2 0.1-1.7 0.05-0.9 0.8-144 14-470
Upper East 5.1-6.8 1.1-2.5 0.06-0.14 1.75-14.75 43.5-151.5
Upper West 6.0-6.8 0.5-1.3 0.01-0.07 2.0-7.4 52-151.5
Northern 4.5-6.7 0.6-2.0 0.02-0.05 2.5-10.0 45-90

Source: Soil Research Institute, CSIR-Kumasi

Farming Systems

Agriculture is predominantly on a smallholder basis in Ghana. 90% of farm holdings are less than 2 hectares in size, although there are some large farms and plantations, particularly for rubber, oil palm and coconut and to a lesser extent, rice, maize and pineapples.

CROP PRODUCTION

Agriculture in Ghana consists of a variety of agricultural products grown in a wide range of climatic zones from dry savannah to wet forest. The main staple food crops are maize, yams, cassava, rice, taro (cocoyam), plantain and other root crops.

Table 8.1- Principal Crops

Industrial Crops Cocoa, Oil Palm, Coconut, Coffee, Cotton, Kola, Rubber, Tobacco, Shea Butter, Cashew, Kenaf, Sugar cane etc.
Starchy, Tuber and Roots crops Cassava, Cocoyam, Yam, Sweet Potatoes and Plantain
Cereals Maize, Rice, Millet, Sorghum
Legumes Cowpea, Soybean, Groundnut, Melon and seeds
Fruits Pineapple, Citrus, Banana, Cashew, Pawpaw, Mangoes, Avocado etc.
Vegetables Tomato, Pepper, Okro, Egg Plant, Onion, Asian Vegetables, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce,

STAPLE CROPS

8.2.1 Maize

Maize is the most important cereal crop on the domestic market in Ghana. It is one of the largest agricultural commodities in terms of production volume. It accounts for 3.3% of total agricultural production volume.

Maize accounts for 55% of grain output followed by paddy rice (23%), sorghum (13%) and millet (9%). Maize is also important for poultry feed as well as a substitute for the brewing industry. Maize is cultivated under traditional production methods and rain-fed conditions. Average yield of maize (on farm) for the year 2015 was 1.92mt/ha but the potential yield was 5.50mt/ha.

Maize is grown throughout Ghana. However, the leading producing areas are mainly in the middle-southern part (Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Ashanti regions) where 84% of the maize is grown, with the remaining 16% being grown in the northern regions of the country (Northern, Upper East and Upper West) . The Government through MOFA provides fertilizer subsidy as well as tractors and agriculture equipment to producers of maize to improve on production and commercialization.

Table 8.2.1a Annual Production of Maize (‘000MT)

Year Production Volume
2013 1,764
2014 1,769
2015 1,692

8.2.2 Cassava

Cassava, a starchy root crop  is Ghana’s most highly produced crop and one of the main staple foods contributing to 22% of Ghana’s agricultural GDP.

Apart from the Upper East and Upper West regions which have no cassava production presumably due to its vegetation, cassava is cultivated in all the eight regions especially in the Eastern (27%), Brong Ahafo (20%), Ashanti (18%), Central (14%) and  Northern regions.

Ghana previously exported small  quantities of cassava starch to neighbouring countries, but it stopped since the starch processing factory shut down due to low supply from farmers against commoditisation. ASCO, the only starch factory, was established in 2004 under the Presidential Special Initiative to promote industrialisation through large-scale productions. However, production was small-scale-based because farmers’ preferred selling cassava to the traditional food market.

Average yield (on farm) of cassava cultivation under rain-fed conditions is 18.78mt/ha for the year 2015. Potential yield for the year 2015 was 45mt/ha

USAID has already highlighted the huge potentials of investing in cassava processing operations (i.e. the production of high quality cassava flours).

Currently cassava is being used as a raw material in the brewery industry and in 2014, Guinness Ghana Limited (GGL) and Accra Brewery Limited (ABL) purchased a total of 801,946.32 metric tonnes of raw cassava at a value of GH¢1,593,680 from farmers in some selected districts.

Table 8.2.2a Annual Production of Cassava (‘000mt)

Year Production Volume
2013 15,990
2014 16,524
2015 17,213

Some registered cassava processing projects at GIPC include;

  • B-Bovid Ltd
  • Caltech Ventures Ltd
  • Dadtco Cassava Processing Ghana Ltd
  • Gafco Cassava Processing Ltd
  • Greto Ltd
  • Jochek Ltd

8.2.3 Rice

Rice is the second most important grain food staple in Ghana, next to maize (MOFA, 2015). Rice import accounts for 60% of Ghana’s cereal imports over the period 2005-2016. Thailand and Vietnam are dominant rice exporters to Ghana.

Rice production is undertaken in three different ecologies: lowland rain-fed ecology, which includes rice planted in the receding waters of the Volta and other rivers (78% of production); upland rain-fed ecology (6%), and irrigated ecology (16%). Rain-fed rice production contributes 84%, generating average paddy yields of 1.0 -2.7 mt/ha while irrigated production produces the highest average of 4.5 mt/ha. The potential yield was 6mt/ha in the year 2015.

Top five (5) rice producing regions in Ghana (3-year average, 2013-2015)

include;

  •         Volta- 184,279.32mt
  •         Northern-168,407.25mt
  •         Upper East-114,702.19mt
  •         Ashanti-34,722mt
  •         Eastern-32,337.69mt

8.2.4 Wheat

Ghana imports all its wheat needs. Major suppliers include Canada, Argentina and the European Union (EU), with Canada accounting for 70% of the market share. There are three major wheat-milling companies in Ghana with a total installed capacity of 1,600 tonnes per day. The estimated per capita consumption of wheat in Ghana is about 12.5kg/year. Almost 80% of wheat flour is used for bread making, and the remaining 20% is used for cakes and other pastries.

8.2.5 Sorghum

Sorghum production is concentrated mainly in the three Northern Regions of Ghana some parts of Brong Ahafo (mainly the transitional zone) and the Volta Region. The three northern regions account for over 97 percent of total production with the Northern region being the largest producer with a share of about 42 percent.

Sorghum is mainly cultivated by small farmers with average land holdings not greater than 2ha. Amongst the cereal crops grown in Ghana, sorghum ranks third in terms of production volume, after maize and rice, with a share of 12% on total cereal production volume.

Average yield (on farm) of sorghum cultivation under rain-fed conditions is 1.10mt/ha for the year 2015. Potential yield for the year 2015 was 2mt/ha. About two-thirds of raw sorghum are milled and used to prepare food as well as local beer. Sorghum brewing is an important cottage industry in northern Ghana. Sorghum is traded mainly in the northern part of Ghana and hardly traded internationally.

8.2.6 Yam

Ghana is the second largest producer of yam in West Africa and the main production areas are Northern, Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Eastern and Ashanti regions.

Average yield (on farm) of Yam cultivation under rain-fed conditions was 16.96mt/ha for the year 2015. Potential yield for the year 2015 was 52mt/ha. Top five (5) yam producing regions in Ghana (3-year average, 2013-2015)

include;

  •         Brong Ahafo- 2,397,838.46mt
  •         Northern-2,261,468.72mt
  •         Eastern-  811,492.73mt
  •         Upper West-573,107.22
  •         Ashanti-520,516.64mt

The table below depicts the export figures for 2011 to 2015;

Major exporters of fresh yam are as follows;

  •         Dhillion Farms Int. Ltd
  •         K. Laast Co. Ltd
  •         Fighan Farms Gh. Ltd
  •         Tahiti Trading Enterprise
  •         Abdulai Enterprise
  •         Prudent Export & Import Co. Ltd
  •         Touch Skies Ghana Ltd.

INDUSTRIAL CROPS

9.1 Cocoa

Cocoa, called Theobroma cacao was a beverage crop even before tea or coffee and the main agricultural export of Ghana. Production occurs in Ghana’s forested areas; Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Western, Central and Brong Ahafo regions where rainfall is 1000-1500mm per year.

Ghana currently produces 850,000 tonnes of cocoa annually and it constitutes 20% of global output of the crop. Ghana is the second leading producer/exporter of cocoa beans after Cote d’Ivoire.

Cocoa cultivation is not native to Ghana but Ghana produces the best quality bulk cocoa globally and its cocoa serves as standard for the global cocoa industry.

Main markets for cocoa are Netherlands, Switzerland and France. Table 9.1: Export of Cocoa Products from Ghana

9.2 Cashew nuts

Cashew is a tropical crop that grows well in all kinds of soil types and is known to do well in poor semi-arid and transitional geographical zones. It grows well in areas with annual total rainfall of between 900mm and 1400mm and with wet and dry seasons.

Currently Brong Ahafo region accounts for about 90% of cashew production and exports in Ghana. Cashew exports earned the country USD 211,328,000 in 2015.

Ghana as the hub of cashew processing in West Africa has the potentials to generate substantial export revenue from the sector if pragmatic policies, resources and attention are given to the sector.

9.3 Shea nuts

The shea industry has been growing fairly steadily in recent times because of the growing demand in the developed countries especially in the US and Europe with France and the Netherlands being the biggest importers. These markets use the butter for products such as confectioneries and cosmetics.

The main production areas in Ghana are Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions. These regions have lots of shea trees and also produce/extract shea butter in commercial quantities. Though shea trees are found in some regions of the country they do not produce shea butter in commercial quantities.

9.4 Groundnuts

Groundnut is an important crop in Ghana as well as in other Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Nuts can be consumed raw or cooked and is used in the production of edible oil.

Three regions in the north account for 94% of Ghana’s total production. Consumption is mostly in the urban areas in the south. The marketing of groundnuts in Ghana has been under the traditional marketing system.

9.5 Oil Palm

Oil Palm is the most important edible oil crop in Ghana and in the whole West Africa region. Oil Palm and palm kernel oil represent 2% of total agricultural production value of Ghana.

The most suitable areas identified for oil palm cultivation are Western, Central and Eastern. Large nucleus estates are sited in these regions. The total area under oil palm cultivation is 300,000 hectares. The average yield is 6.3tonnes.

Major exporters of Crude Palm Oil are Wilmar Africa Ltd, Avnash Industries Ghana Ltd, Praise Export Services Ltd, Ghana Oil Palm Development Company Ltd etc.

9.6 Pineapple

Pineapples are the leading horticulture export product of Ghana. In 2004

exports peaked at 71,200mt representing 10% of the market share. However, the emergence of MD2 variety on the export market and the shift of consumer demand from smooth cayenne to MD2 brought serious challenges to the sector.

The MD2 has more demanding agronomic practices than the smooth cayenne variety. As a result, the sector suffered great losses leading to a reduction in total pineapple exports revenue from USD25 million in 2012 to USD 17million in 2014. In

2015, pineapple export revenue was USD 20,539,000.

Main Markets: Germany, Holland, UK and Belgium.

Competing Countries: Brazil, Costa Rica, Philippines, Ecuador, Panama andCote d’Ivoire.

The strengths of the pineapple industry are that the industry has 20 years of experience in pineapple cultivation, suitable land available, large pool of labour available, newly installed pack houses etc.

9.7 Mangoes

It is estimated that Ghana has over 10,000acres under mango production which produces about 15,000mt. Out of this, less than 40% is exported.

Major Markets: Leading importing countries of Ghana’s mangoes include UK, Netherlands and Germany.

The strength of the mango value chain includes; new farms being developed, two mango seasons in a year and preferred varieties abound (i.e. keitt and kent).

9.8 Soybeans

Soybean is a relatively new crop in Ghana and mainly used by farmers for crop rotation with maize. The crops are primarily cultivated by smallholders under traditional production farming practices and rain-fed conditions. Annual soybean production is estimated to be 142,000 mt (for the year 2015), which is relatively high in West Africa.

The favourable production area is thought to be in the northern part of Ghana, but yield is still far below the achievable target of 3 mt/ha under rain-fed cultivation, and the post-harvest loss is high.

9.9 Vegetable Production in Ghana

As a result of the constant economic growth, Ghana has reached the status of a middle-income country. With the emergence of a large middle class an increasing number of consumers are demanding a higher quantity and quality of fresh produce.

As a consequence, the domestic vegetable-market alone is growing at more than 10 % per year. For local consumption, the most important vegetables are tomatoes, peppers (both sweet and hot) and onions.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s vegetable sector also exhibits a high potential for exports.

The potential value for the export of vegetables is estimated at USD 50 million. However, current export of vegetables stands at only USD 8 million as producers fail to comply with international food safety regulations. While traditionally, fruits like pineapples, bananas and mangoes were the main horticultural export crop, chillies and Asian vegetables are gaining in popularity.

10. Ghana’s New Agriculture Policy

This policy makes grand claims to promote growth in food production and create 750,000 new jobs through a focus on five areas: seed, fertilizer, extension services, marketing and e-fertilizer. The growth will come from five main food crops maize, rice, soybean, sorghum and vegetables.

In the north of the country, the focus will be entirely on the first three: maize, rice and soy. Notably, yam, millet, livestock and other animals are not included, as well as other natural resources like shea. The campaign focuses on getting every Ghanaian to grow food.

10.1 Agriculture funded projects in Ghana

  •     GCAP seeks to develop agriculture in Ghana in line with the country’s efforts at poverty reduction and ensuring food security by promoting inclusive commercial farming along selected commodity value chains in the SADA Zone and Accra Plains.
  •       USAID Feed the Future (FtF) Projects: USAID Projects includes:
  •    FINGAP (Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project) – seeks to address one of the key constraints that restrict the development of commercial agriculture in Ghana (access to finance).
  •    AATTP (Agriculture Technology Transfer Project) – seeks to increase the availability of appropriate and affordable technologies to improve the competitiveness of the maize, rice and soya value chains in northern Ghana in a sustainable way. USAID/Ghana is funding the project for a period of five years with an anticipated budget of $22 million.
  •    ADVANCE (Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement) – The project seeks to support the scaling up of agricultural investments to improve the competitiveness of the maize, rice, and soybean value chains in Ghana.
  •     CARI (The Competitive African Rice Initiative) aims to improve livelihoods of rice farmers in selected countries in the West African sub-region by increasing the competitiveness of domestic rice supply to meet increasing demand.

11. Challenges Facing the Agriculture

  •         Inadequate capital
  •         Changes in weather condition
  •         Inadequate infrastructure
  •         High cost of inputs
  •         Inadequate research and extension officials
  •         Limited agronomic skills and practices
  •         Poor post-harvest management,
  •         Weak linkages between producers and buyers.
  •         Pests and diseases
  •         Land  tenure system

12. SPECIFIC INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR

a) Production of fresh pineapples for domestic and international markets

Project Description:

Pineapple as a crop thrives in almost all the agro ecological zones of Ghana with the major commercial production areas located in the Southern sectors of the country where closeness to the ports enhances export trade.  At the coastal areas commercial production of pineapple are concentrated in the Accra Plains, Aburi-Nsawam axis and Awutu areas.

The most common varieties are the Smooth Cayenne, the Sugar Loaf, Queen and MD2. The MD2 variety which is a recent introduction has gained popularity and becoming widely cultivated due to its high demand in  the EU market. However production of pineapple is still very minimal in these production areas.

Investment opportunities therefore exist for the large-scale cultivation of fresh pineapples for domestic and international markets.

Project Scope:

Strategic option include the commercial scale production of fresh pineapples for export and domestic markets.

Initial Capital outlay required:

The capital outlay required is US$ (0.5 -2) million

Project Location:

New pineapple farms can be established on the 50,000 hectares of land earmarked by the Bui Power Authority for agriculture and also in the Accra Plains, Aburi-Nsawam axis and Awutu areas.

Local Content (Human and Infrastructural Resource Available):

There is a pool of available labour force who can be employed to work on the farms.

b)   Establishment   of  commercial   packhouses   for   handling   of   fruits   and vegetables

Project Description:

Privately operated commercial packhouses are needed in farming areas as well as  in  marketing  centres  across  the  country.  This  would  minimise  postharvest losses which is in the region of 30% to 60 % depending on the produce.

Project Scope:

Pack houses are crucial in the horticulture export value chain. Fruits and vegetable harvested need to be pre-cooled in pack houses to remove the field heat,  cleaned  and  packaged  to  reduce  perishability.  The  scope  for  a packhouse should include both fruits and vegetables.

Initial Capital Outlay:

The estimated capital outlay for the packhoused range from US$ (1-5)million depending on the scale and sophistication of the facility.

Project location:

The pack house can be located in the the Accra Plains, SADA Zone, the Aburi- Nsawam axis and the Awutu areas which are noted for fruits and vegetable production.

Local Content (Human and Infrastructural Resource Available):

There is a pool of available labour force who can be employed at these packhouses and in addition there is an existing hoticultural export industry.

c) Production of soya bean on commercial scale under irrigation

Project Description:

Demand for soyabean and its derivatives (soyabean oil and soyabean cake) are very high. Soyabean is imported for extraction of oil for local and export markets. The resulting soyabean cake is processed into poultry and fish feeds.

The quantity of soybean grown locally is very low (thus,1mt/ha). Improved technology of production is needed. Mechanised production of soyabean on commercial scale under irrigation, will improve yields to about 6 mt/ha thereby increasing yield, productivity and profitability.

Project Scope:

Strategic options include the large scale cultivation  and processing of soya into soya milk, soya oil and poultry  and fish feeds.

Initial Capital Outlay:

The capital outlay is estimated ranging from US$(1- 3) million depending on the production scale.

Project Location:

Proposed  projects  can  be  located  in  the  Brong  Ahafo  or  Northern  part  of Ghana where soyabean thrives.

Local Content (Human and Infrastructural Resource Available):

There  is  a  pool  of  available  labour  force  who  can  be  employed  in  farm operations.

d) Production of maize for domestic market

Project Description:

Maize is one of the most popular food crops on the domestic market and it is grown in all the ecological zones of the country. It is the basis of several local food preparations and the main  feedstuff for poultry and other livestock. However yields under rain fed cultivation are low.

Irrigating maize will result in higher yield, increased productivity and lower prices of maize.

Therefore investment opportunity exists in the large scale production of maize for the domestic markets.

Project Scope:

Strategic options include construction of new irrigation systems for maize production as well as cultivation of maize on existing irrigation schemes for human and animal consumption.

Initial Capital Outlay:

The capital outlay is estimated ranging from US$(0.25- 2)million depending on the production scale.

Project Location:

Proposed projects can be located in all the ecological zones of the country.

Local Content (Human and Infrastructural Resource Available):

There  is  a  pool  of  available  labour  force  who  can  be  employed  in  farm operations.

SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT

a)

Project Name Production  of  fresh  pineapples  for  domestic  and international markets
Sector Agriculture and agro-processing
Anticipated         Amount Required US$ (0.5 -2) million
Type     of     Cooperation sought Equity (Capital, Expertise, Technology & Equipments)

b)

Project Name Establishment    of    commercial    packhouses    for handling of fruits and vegetables
Sector Agriculture and agro-processing
Anticipated         Amount Required US$ (1-5)million
Type     of     Cooperation sought Equity (Capital, Expertise, Technology & Equipments)

13. OTHER INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES A) Production

Investment opportunities exist in the following areas;

  • Production  of  industrial/cash  crops,  horticultural  crops,  cereals/grains, roots and tubers for the national, regional and European Union (E.U) markets.
  • Production of improved seeds and agro-chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides)
  • Provision of tree seedlings for plantation species e.g. teak

B) Technological and Supporting Services

Investment opportunities exist in the following areas;

  • Provision of tractors with basic implements, planters and harvesters
  • Provision of field and laboratory equipment for seeds and agro-chemicals production.
  • Suppliers and financiers of factory building technology
  • Research and agriculture development services
  • Inspection and grading according to international standards to make the deliveries acceptable in international markets
  • Capacity building on standards, training and certification

C) Marketing and Distribution

Investment opportunities exist in the following areas;

  • Companies  to  provide  post-production  services  (transport,  packaging, storage facilities and cold vans)
  • Companies  to  provide  the  distribution  of  improved  seeds,  planting
  • materials and agro-chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides).

INCENTIVES AND BENEFITS

  • There are exemptions of import duties on imported plant, machinery or equipment and agro inputs such as fertilizers, weedicides and pesticides
  • Five   years   tax   holiday   for   the   cultivation   of   industrial/cash   crops, horticultural crops, cereals/grains, roots and tubers etc.
  • Ten years tax holiday for the cultivation of tree crops (e.g. coffee, oil palm, shea nut and coconut)
  • Cocoa farmers/producers incomes are exempted indefinitely from taxes.
  • The law also permits farming losses to be carried forward for five years of assessment.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 865 also provides for automatic quota incentives and benefits etc.

INVESTMENT GUARANTEES

Ghana is a safe investment destination. Guarantees against expropriation of private investments provided under the GIPC law are also buttressed by the Ghanaian Constitution. Some investment guarantees are detailed below:

i.     Free transferability of capital, profits and dividends.

ii.      Insurance  against non-commercial  risks  –  Ghana  is  a  signatory  to  the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) Convention.

iii.     Double  Taxation  Agreements  (DTAs)  –  to  rationalize  tax  obligations  of investors in order to prevent double taxation. DTAs have been signed and ‘ratified with several countries. (e.g) France, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium etc.

POTENTIAL SOURCES OF FUNDING

Viable companies and projects can easily attract financing both on the local and international financial markets. The main sources of funding are:

  •         34 Banks
  •         60 Non-bank financial institutions
  •         138 Rural and community banks
  •     The Ghana Stock Exchange – noted that in the last four years, many issues of shares on the GSE have been oversubscribed by 100% – 300%, meaning that there is a lot of money for investment purposes.
  •         Ghana Venture Capital Fund
  •     International development finance institutions based in Ghana, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB)

A number of foreign financial institutions also provide off-shore financing directly to companies in Ghana. (e.g.) Barclays Bank, Stanchart, Ecobank etc.

GHANA’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

Major strengths of the sector are:

  •     Diversity of commodities due to diverse agro-ecological zones; this allows for easy diversification of farm production systems
  •     Well-endowed  network  of  water  bodies  which  can  be  tapped  for irrigation
  •     Comparative advantage in the production of roots and tubers can be built on to enhance food security and increase agricultural trade
  •     A   well-established   agricultural   research   system   (e.g.)   CRIG,   CSIR, Agricultural colleges and universities have all been very successful in crop improvement (e.g. cassava, maize, rice, cowpea etc.)
  •     Relative  proximity  to  Europe  (i.e.  6  hours  direct  flight)  as  an  export destination compared to competitors in Southern Africa and Central and South America
  •     A flourishing horticultural sector with a knowledgeable private sector(e.g. established associations such as the Ghana horticultural and vegetable growers association)

Ghana offers relatively cheaper fresh agricultural products for processing. The government is keen to make Ghana a leading agro-industrial  nation and is therefore implementing several programmes such as Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) and  West African Agricultural  Productivity Programme (WAAPP) to increase agricultural productivity and investment. Many agricultural businesses are tax-exempt for at least the first five to ten years of operations.

Ghana also offers many attractions to the foreign investor. They include:

1. Stable Political Environment

Ghana is a politically stable country. This has been recognized by the world’s famous leaders including former US President Barack Obama and his predecessor and the former UK Prime Minister David Cameroon and his predecessor. They have all commended Ghana for the political stability in the country over the years.

2. Macro-economic Policies

The Government of Ghana has initiated a number of sound macroeconomic policies designed to accelerate the process of growth and transformation of the economy  under  competitive  conditions.  In  the  face  of  dwindling  crude  oil prices, Ghana’s economy is still relatively stable.

3. Foreign Ownership

In Ghana, hundred per cent (100%) foreign ownership is permitted.

4. Access to ECOWAS Market

Ghana is easily accessible to the markets of all the member states of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) with its population of approximately 300 million people.

5. Good Physical Infrastructure

Ghana possesses well developed seaports, airports and road networks capable of meeting the needs of businesses in the 21st  century. There is an effort to upgrade the rail network to make it easy to get to the ports from inland. Telecommunication facilities in Ghana are excellent with more private service providers offering telephone, internet and other telecommunication services. Basic utilities such as water and electricity are readily available at relatively affordable rates.

6. Excellent Labour Force

There is a large human resource base of both skilled and unskilled labour which can be sourced at relatively low rates. The minimum wage in Ghana is GH¢ 8.80 per day (approximately US$ 2.095).

7. Access to International Markets

Ghana has easy access to the USA and European Union Markets. The flight time to almost all European Union countries is about 6 hours and 9 hours to the USA.

8. Availability of Fund Sources

Ghana has a large number of fast developing financial institutions available to raise long-term capital at competitive rates. These institutions include banks, insurance  and  venture  capital  companies  and  a  stock  exchange  market (Ghana Stock Exchange).

9. High Safety Standard

There are high standards of health and safety measures in the country.

10. Warm and Friendly People

Ghana  is  internationally  acclaimed  for  her  hospitality  to  her  investors  and foreigners as a whole.

11. High Quality of Life

The quality of life of Ghanaians is fairly high.

12. Availability of Land

Ghana has a wide expanse of land that can be acquired with little difficulty through appropriate agencies and owners.