Some commercial mango farmers in Kintampo in the Bono Region say mango cultivation has the potential to transform the nation’s economy.
They said despite the economic potential of the industry, government was prioritising other sectors such as cashew and cocoa cultivation whilst relegating mango farming to the background.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Wa, Mr Caleb Kofi Bleboo, Outgrowers Coordinator at Sky 3, a production and aggregation company in Kintampo, noted that mango had gained global recognition as the “king of all fruits”.
“We have a lot of mango fruits, what we have realised is that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and government are paying more attention to rubber, cashew and cocoa.
“But, this time round, we want to advocate that authorities and NGOs that are in Ghana should come and help us grow the sector to its full potential,” Mr Bleboo said.
The commercial mango farmers, therefore, appealed to government and the private sector to give maximum attention to mango production by supporting the farmers in order for the country to benefit from the sector’s huge potential.
On his part, Mr Bismark Dei Commey, Business Development and Administrative Manager at Sky 3, said a tone of mango was sold at GHC2000.00 while an acre of mango plantation could produce up to six tones.
He lamented that the sector was bedeviled with numerous challenges including disease infestations and lack of ready market for the produce, claiming that the economic benefit of mango to the nation could surpass that of cocoa if it had the necessary attention.
“There is no guarantee market for mangoes, the farmer will go through a lot of agronomic practices at the end expecting to get price for the good quality mangoes that he has cultivated but to no avail,” he indicated.
Mr Commey added that some farmers in the industry have no practical experience in the field and thus needed to be equipped with the required skills to enable them produce good quality fruits for both the local and international markets.
Madam Veronica Aboagye, a mango farmer in Kintampo, lamented that she entered into mango cultivation with joy about ten years ago, but now she is discouraged by the challenges and government’s apathy towards the sector.
“We started farming with joy because we didn’t know of the challenges … but we don’t get support from anybody, government should come to our aid, the chemicals used for spraying is expensive, the spraying machines are also expensive,” she lamented.
The farmers also appealed to the government, the private sector and other stakeholders to establish mango processing companies in the country to process the fruits into finished products as part of efforts to promote the sector.