The Western Regional capital, Sekondi-Takoradi will host the 2023 edition of the International Coconut Festival Ghana, scheduled to take place from the 26th to the 28th of September.
The Regional Minister and Member of Parliament for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, made the announcement during a visit to the office of the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ibok-Ete Ibas.
Extending an official invitation to Mr. Ibas for the upcoming event, he underlined the striking similarities between Ghana and Nigeria and called for the strengthening of trade relations that would mutually benefit both nations.
Mr. Darko-Mensah encouraged Nigerian business leaders and investors to visit Takoradi for the event, highlighting Nigeria as the largest buyer of Ghana’s coconuts, predominantly sourced from the Southwestern region of Ghana.
Mr. Ibas reciprocated the sentiment, urging business owners from both countries to forge strategic partnerships, and harness the advantages of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
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.
According to the organisers, the African Coconut Group (ACG), the Western Region stands out as a major contributor to the industry, producing approximately 80% of Ghana’s total coconut exports and firmly establishing itself as the industry’s hub in the country.
This year’s event bears 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 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.
Per statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation Corporate Statistical Database for 2017, Ghana claimed the 14th spot among the world’s foremost coconut producers, boasting a production of 383,960 metric tonnes in that year alone.
The non-traditional export figures for 2022 were indicative of the coconut sector’s substantial economic contribution. Notably, earnings from both fresh and processed coconuts reached 6.3 million dollars and 6 million dollars, respectively.
Ghana’s export of desiccated coconut also emerged as a standout performer.
Exports in this category rose to 21.9 million dollars in 2021, a significant increase from 6.3 million dollars in 2020 and 3.8 million dollars in 2019, securing the nation a commendable 9th position in global desiccated coconut exports.