GHANA – The Alliance for Development and Industrialization (ADI), an industrialisation advocacy group in Ghana, has tabled a US$2 billion Transformational Commodity Fund (TCF) for the development of a sustainable agriculture sector in Ghana.

According to ADI the US$2 billion fund will support the entire sector and adjourning structures such as roads infrastructure at community levels, farmer support and contracting, storage, processing, packaging and marketing.

ADI proposes that with agriculture being the mainstay of the country’s economy, the funding is important to help the sector realise full potential by optimally exploiting value chains of high value at the international market.

The transformation fund, which according to the advocacy group can be raised through the issuance of bonds on the international market, targets the country’s five key commodities such as avocado, pineapple, coconut, sweet potato, and sweet potato, which have huge potentials offshore.

“We are also asking the International Donor Agencies to support farmers that are into coconut farming, sweet potato, vegetables etc as it would save the economy as demand from Europe is on the rise.

There is the need to establish special ports receiving in both the European and the UK markets for them to be ready to receive the commodities for re-distribution”, ADI said in a statement.

Investment strategy

ADI said for an effective agriculture transformation, the government should entrust investments from the private sector which should be based on monitoring the structural system that could pay back the investment.

The government, however, could support the development and expansion of the agricultural sector while ensuring that establishment for these value chains in a sustainable manner that will be able to pay off.

According to the ADI, the bonds should have a 15 year tenor, which would be paid back to potential investors through the export of these commodities.

The cultivations of these five commodities on a large scale is also meant to serves as an import substitution and also feed the factories that the government is creating through the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) program.

Potential turn-overs

The advocacy group projects that cultivation of coconut for export over 130 thousand acres to generate US$250 million per annum over a 10 year period with expected 61000 jobs.

Additionally, avocado on a 120 thousand acres over a 6 year period is expected to generate US$700 million annually with expected 24000 jobs while sweet potato on a 35 thousand acres could generate US$200million annually with expected 14000 jobs.

According to ADI arithmetics, citrus and other fruits including mangoes and pineapples are projected to generate US$490 million annually while cashew could generate US$40million on 95 thousand acres of land.

Despite the agriculture sector employing about 34% of the country’s workforce, Ghana still spends over US$2 billion annually on food importation with over US$1 billion on rice, US$320 million on sugar and US$374 million of poultry.