African Continental Free Trade Area presents opportunities for agro-export —FAGE

The hosting of the African Continental Free Trade Area presents more opportunities to the country especially in the area of agro-export, Mr Anthony Sikpa, the President of the Federation Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) has said.

In order to benefit fully, he suggested to the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to provide the needed support to address challenges of farmers who ‘wear’ a major part of the export value chain.

At a forum held in Accra on Wednesday aimed at discussing the opportunities in the hosting of the trade centre, Mr Sikpa said, “GEPA has a lot more to do than they are saying. They need to look at each product, on a case by case basis and find out what is ailing, to enable them address it”.

“I will suggest to GEPA that despite the nice government programmes that have come up, they need to sit down with the individual members in the value chain and see where they can make an impact,” he urged.

He said global warming had an adverse impact on export business, explaining that warm climate facilitates pest and disease infestation, and unsavoury harvests.

He advised GEPA to engage farmers in climate-smart agriculture technologies to produce crops that that would meet international standards.

Mr Albert Kassim Diwura, the Deputy Chief Executive, Human Resource and Administration of the GEPA, said his outfit had been giving a lot of support to exporters, which include funding and capacity building.

He said the export school, a flagship programme of the Authority was being transformed from a virtual school to a structured school to educate exporters on best practices.

He said GEPA would soon introduce measures to improve yield and that the Authority was collaborating with Israelis to introduce efficient modern technological methods to scale up the production of mango.

“Currently we have engaged some Israelis. Despite the climate change, they have seen potential in Ghana and they are prepared to partner with GEPA and other sectors to see where they can boost the mango industry,” he disclosed.GNA

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