Business News of 2014-08-16

Ghana wasting huge potential in horticulture – GEPA

Ghana is lagging behind its fellow flower exporting nations and wasting potential for millions of dollars in revenue and employment opportunities, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has said.
Despite a rich supply of flora and the high demand for tropical cut flowers - the industry is worth over a 120 billion dollars annually - Ghana’s flower industry has experienced only minimal growth, according to Peter Obeng, Director of Product Development at GEPA.
Obeng said a lack of knowledge of the international floral market, limited production facilities, insufficient government support and low local consumption meant that huge revenue was being left on the table.
According to official data on Ghana flower exports, a total of 811,814kgs of cut flowers were exported in 2012 for revenue of US$ 2,025,099, while in 2013, a total of 766,09kgs of flower exports brought in US$ 2,326,368. In 2010 and 2011, 422,914kgs and 452,358kgs of cut flowers were exported, generating US $1,786,898 and US $2,046,577 respectively.
“The average Ghanaian has shown low appreciation for the value and importance of fresh floral products and as such hardly makes room for them in their budget or substitutes them with artificial floral decorations which are imported”, Obeng said. “It is not surprising that farmers lack sufficient information about flowers that do well in this part of the world and which are of high value on the international market.”
Ethiopia, the fourth largest flower exporter in the world, has a flower export market which significantly boosts the country’s economy. Kenya also relies on flower exports to generate millions of dollars for the national coffers.
Ghana with all its abundant natural resources, could earn much more, Obeng added. He appealed to the government to help producers with business advisory services, financial support, tax breaks and promotional events.
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