GEPA pledges support to medicinal and food products sector

Accra- The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is on course with its plans to reinvigorate the non-traditional export sector through various product initiatives to boost production and add value.

Mr Eric Twum, the Deputy Chief Executive of GEPA, said the Authority was vigorously working to identify, develop and promote additional products with significant export potentials to meet the needs of the economy and rake in foreign exchange.

Mr Twum was speaking at a meeting with members of the Botanical Plant Exporters Association (BOPA) to discuss ways to restructure the medicinal and food products sector to boost its contribution to the non-traditional export sector.

GEPA is already working and supporting other sectors such as yam, pineapple and cashew as well as handicrafts to ensure their enhanced contribution in line with the President’s vision of value-addition instead of exports in their raw state.

All those initiatives, he said, aimed at increasing production and improving the quality of the yields to be able to meet export demands.

GEPA is looking at giving more support to production on the ground to be able to raise the volumes for value addition and export to the market, Mr Twum said.

Recognising the enormous contribution of the medicinal plant sector over the past few years, Mr Twum said GEPA was looking at ways to collaborate and to develop a framework that would spell out ways of support for the sector.

The members of BOPA have shown enterprise and there is the need for government to support to harness the clear competitive advantage, he said adding that the sector had the potential to outperform other sectors.

The sector, over the past few years, had been able to contribute about 14 million dollars to non-traditional export earnings.

Mr Twum urged the members of the Association to bring democratic tendencies to bear on activities of the Association and expressed the hope that the collaboration with GEPA would be worthwhile.

Mr Mathew Nkansah, the Acting President of BOPA, said the medicinal and food products sector was suffering from the influx of foreigners, who, because of the absence of regulations, go directly to the field to buy.

He called for government support to be able to fight the menace of foreign influx to ensure that the fieldwork was reserved for Ghanaians.

The medicinal and foods products market is huge and we will need both financial and technical support to enhance production and create jobs, Mr Nkansah said.

He said the Association would be broadened to become a national one.

The members agreed at the maiden meeting to hold a stakeholders’ seminar to bring issues in the medicinal and foods sector to players along the value chain.

Source: Ghana News Agency