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Let’s focus on other sectors – Experts

Three economic experts have said that the government’s concentration on the cocoa sector to the detriment of other areas is partly responsible for the pressure on the country’s depreciating currency.

According to them, sectors such as cassava, mango and oranges could fetch the country more income if they have received the needed support.

Speaking at forum in Accra, the Head of Finance Department of University of Ghana Business School, Dr Godfred Bokpin, the Chief Executive of Amanten Cassava Limited, Mr William Oppong-Bio and a Financial Analysis, Mr Kelvin Adarkwa said a key way to reduce the pressure on the country’s currency was to increase exports in other viable agricultural sectors.

The forum, which was on the theme “the Fluctuation of currency exchange rates and its impact on doing business in Ghana”, was organised by Good Governance Africa (, an independent research and advocacy organisation.

Mr Oppong-Bio said over the past years, government had given so much to the cocoa sector to the neglect sectors.
“We are importing everything and this has put so much pressure on the cedi. As a country, we must begin to look for ways to assist the farmers to grow those major commodities that we import”.

For instance, Mr Oppong-Bio said over $ 3 billion could be generated annually from cassava alone if it received the same investment cocoa was attracting.

According to him, farmers’ inability to acquire equipment to undertake major agriculture activities had forced many of them to engage in small-scale farming.

Touching on to maintain the country’s currency, Mr Adarkwa stressed on the need for the government to increase its exportation in major areas, adding that “we do not have to be so much bothered about importing items that do not fetch the country much”.
According to him, Ghana had a good soil and climatic conditions to undertake massive investment in the agriculture sector to boost the economy.

For his part, Dr Bokpin said export strategy alone would not address the pressure on the cedi, but rather a concentration on support other sectors to grow.

He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to come out with strategies to reduce the importation of certain items that the country could grow or manufacture.

The Chief Executive Officer of GGA-West Africa, Mrs Tina Asante-Apeatu, said the objective of the forum was to identify the fundamental causes of the fluctuation of the Cedi.

“It was also to understand the impact of this instability on doing business in Ghana,” she said.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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