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Ghana endures major pineapple slump

  • Ghana endures major pineapple slump

    by Market Insider

    Wednesday, 23 Oct. 2013

    Ghana’s pineapple production and exports have slumped to their lowest rate in nine years. According to local news not only has the situation denied the country the millions of dollars it used to receive in foreign exchange but it has also left more than 500,000 people, mostly farmers, out of work.

    The economy has also lost some fruit processing companies, with the surviving ones struggling to obtain raw materials to process. Processing companies have had to import more than half of their raw materials such as mangoes, pineapples and papaya as they struggle to source them locally, the website reports, adding that other processing companies have folded  up for the lack of raw materials that make them competitive.

    The conditions have been blamed on the lack of financing for cultivation, low quality inputs, especially pineapple suckers, and the age-old challenge of Ghana not adapting quickly to a new variety now preferred in Europe, the MD2, which has been developed by Costa Rica.

    An acre of pineapple farm, according to the source, requires between GH¢ 8,000 and GH¢ 9,000 to cultivate which has put thousands of farmers out of the industry even if there is a huge market for fresh pineapples and other horticultural produce locally and internationally.

    Currently the country only exports about 35,000 tonnes of pineapple per year, with the number of exporters decreasing from 50 in 2004 to about 15 and the employment in the industry has significantly slumped from about 600,000 to about 60,000.

    Exports of fresh pineapples from Ghana reached an all-time record in 2004 topping 71,000 tons in one year and making the country the second largest exporter of the produce after Cote d’Ivoire; the situation now looks increasingly bleak.

    Source: Fresh Produce Journal


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