Countries / Territories

Country Profile Ghana



    Ghana is situated on the west coast of Africa with a total area of 238,540 km2. The country has a north-south extent of about 670 km and a maximum east-west extent of about 560 km. It borders the Ivory Coast to the west, Burkina Faso in the north and Togo to the east. Ghana has a tropical climate. The eastern coastal belt is warm and comparatively dry; the southwest corner, hot and humid; and the north, hot and dry.

    Agricultural sector

    Agriculture is Ghana's most important economic sector, employing almost two thirds of the population and contributing half of GDP and export earnings (IFOAM 2003). The country produces a variety of crops, including cocoa, maize, yam, palm oil, coffee, rubber, and timber. Smallholder farms dominate the agricultural sector, accounting for about 80 percent of total production.

    Overview of organic farming

    As in most West African countries, the organic sector in Ghana is still relatively underdeveloped. About 19,132 hectares of land are under organic cultivation, which accounts for 0.13 % of the total agricultural area in Ghana (IFOAM & FiBL 2006). These numbers including fully converted land as well as "in conversion" land area have been growing substantially in recent years. The whole region has a potential for developing a formal certified sector, especially with regard to tropical fruit and palm oil. Since Ghana does not have any significant domestic market for organic produce, the future development relies on organic trading links being established to export markets, particularly in Europe.

    Key organic products

    Ghana's main organic export commodities are palm oil and fresh fruits. The certification of farms already using organic methods makes progress in these markets. Other key organic products include cocoa, bananas, cashews, culinary herbs, cereals, vegetables, cotton and shea butter (IFOAM 2003). Ghanaian NGOs and farmers groups promote the expansion of organic production in the existing product range as well as in new sectors. Those indigenous groups are active in developing and disseminating improved organic farming methods.

    The network

    The Ghana Organic Agriculture Network (GOAN) is the main grouping of organic NGOs and trade associations, which is working actively with concerned organisations such as ITC, HDRA, DfiD and PAN-UK in developing the organic sector in the country. It has about 150 member groups and organisations, representing a thousand individual members.

    With the assistance of HDRA and PAN-UK, GOAN in 1995 established an agriculture centre to provide information, training and advice on organic agriculture practices. It also has links with research institutes to examine alternative methods of pest control, particularly for cocoa, oil palm cotton, cereals and fruit vegetables.

    Coordinator: Samuel Adimado
    GOAN Secretariat
    PO Box 6342
    Kumasi, Ghana
    Tel/Fax: 00 233 51 20954

    External Support

    The Ghana organic agriculture sector has been receiving support from the following external organisations amongst others:

    International Trade Centre
    Swiss Import Promotion Programme
    Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 


    • IFOAM & FiBL (2006): The World of Organic Agriculture. Statistics and Emerging Trends 2006. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn & Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Frick, pp. 27-35.
    • IFOAM (2003): Organic and Like-Minded Movements in Africa. International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Bonn, pp.102-108.