The third edition of the International Coconut Festival Ghana (ICFG), has been scheduled to take place from the 26th to the 28th of September, 2023, in Sekondi-Takoradi, the Western Regional capital.
The event which is expected to bring together key stakeholders in the coconut value chain both locally and abroad, is aimed at highlighting the economic and health benefits of the commodity, promoting investment, and opening new marketing opportunities for its sector players.
The Western Regional Minister and Member of Parliament for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, announced the date when he made a courtesy call on the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ibok-Ete Ibas, at the embassy to officially invite him to the conference.
The minister underlined the striking similarities between Ghana and Nigeria and called for the strengthening of bilateral trade relations that would mutually benefit both nations.
Mr. Darko-Mensah encouraged Nigerian businesses and investors in the country seeking to penetrate the market to visit Takoradi for the festival. He revealed that Nigeria is the largest buyer of Ghana’s coconuts, predominantly sourced from the Southwestern region of Ghana.
The Commissioner reciprocated the sentiment, urging business owners from both countries to forge strategic partnerships, thereby harnessing the advantages of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Coconut Festival initiative
The first-ever International Coconut Festival Ghana was held in Accra in 2019. The event brought together exhibitors and key stakeholders in the agriculture and industrial sectors. It marked the launch of the annual ‘National Coconut Day’ and included a tour of the Western Region to explore the immense potential of the coconut industry.
The African Coconut Group (ACG), organisers of the festival mentioned that the Western Region stands out as a major contributor to the industry, producing approximately 80 percent of Ghana’s total coconut exports and firmly establishing itself as the industry’s hub in the country.
This year’s event will be under the theme: “Invest in Ghana’s Coconut Sector for an Inclusive Climate and Social Resilience.” It is supported by the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC), the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) and SOLIDARIDAD.
There will also be a diverse array of activities, including a trade exhibition, a seminar, and mentorship sessions tailored for young individuals and women in the coconut sector.
Additionally, the programme will feature economic and technical negotiations, fostering networking opportunities among participants, and visits to coconut farms.
Ghana incorporated coconut into the portfolio of the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) in 2019. The body has the mandate to develop and regulate the production, processing, marketing, and export of coconut and other selected tree crops.
The non-traditional export figures for 2022 highlighted the coconut sector’s substantial economic contribution. Notably, earnings from both fresh and processed coconuts reached US$6.3 million and US$6 million respectively.
Ghana’s export of desiccated coconut also emerged as a standout performer. Exports in this category rose to US$21.9M in 2021, a significant increment from US$6.3M in 2020, and US$3.8M in 2019, securing the nation a commendable 9th position in global desiccated coconut exports.
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