Huge Market Opportunity Exists For Ghana To Produce Cassava

The minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr. Fifi Kwetey has called on farmers, stakeholders and individuals to turn their attention to the cassava industry, explaining that, a huge market opportunity exists for Ghana to produce cassava.

According to Mr. Kwetey, Ghana produces about 16 million metric tonnes of cassava of which an estimate of about 11 million tonnes is available for human consumption.

However, only four million tonnes of the cassava is available for human consumption is consumed, leaving more than seven million tonnes as surplus.

The minister was speaking at the launch of Ghana Industrial Cassava Stakeholders Platform – a policy set to function as the mouthpiece and working group to quicken the development of the commercial cassava value chain.

The platform comprising researchers, producers, processors and other industry players seek to promote the development of industrial cassava, address the challenges and pursue opportunities in the Ghana, and strengthen the linkages amongst various stakeholders in the industrial value chain.

Delivering his speech, Mr. Kwetey said, Ghana is the third leading cassava producer in Africa and the sixth in the world, whilst the commercialisation of the crop is nascent. “Cassava holds the potential for helping to transform the economy” he added.

Chairman of GICSP, Mr Kodwo Ahlijah, said cassava performs different roles for different people in Ghana and there has been a substantial global market for dehydrated cassava that is boosting production with new market opportunities.

“It serves as a reserve crop, rural staple food and convenient food for urban dwellers, industrial raw material, cash crop, and foreign exchange earner”

Mr. Ahlijah, revealed in his speech that over the last five years, there has been a solid growth in demand for commercial and industrial use of new value added cassava products, notably High Quality Cassava Flour, Industrial Grade Cassava Flour, High Quality Cassava Chips, Starch and Wet Cake.

He said, majority of people employed in the agriculture sector in Ghana engage in cassava production and this contribute significantly to increasing income and livelihoods for the rural communities.

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