Tree Cultivation Development Agenda: Lessons from Abroad

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Ghana has favorable agro-climatic and edaphic (soil) factors for optimal growth, development and yield of the most important tree crops. The Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA) of Ghana has set itself the goal of promoting the development of cashew, shea, mango, coconut, rubber and oil palms in four agroecological zones of the country. Thus, a successful development of the arboriculture agenda will provide raw materials to feed our agro-based industries, earn foreign currency, employ the youth and help pay taxes to the economy.

The Trees Crops Development Act, 2019 (Act 1010) also provides a legal and organizational system for TCDA to promote research and development; Strengthen value chain activities; Strengthening the capacity building of actors; and promoting licensing and regulation to reward stakeholders, service providers and investors. It is believed that by 2028, when the TCDA is fully operational, we will earn an additional $ 16 billion annually to diversify the entire economy.

Development Agenda for Tree Crops in the Tropical World

The arboriculture development agenda has been promoted in many tropical countries and the top ten growing countries are recognized. Ghanaians need to be aware of our current position on the arboriculture development agenda compared to others. Ghana ranks first in Shea exports (130,000 t), Burkina Faso (90,000 t) and Mali (80,000 t). Second, India ranks first for cashews (750,000 t), Ivory Coast (680,000 t), Vietnam (300,000 t), Tanzania (240,000 t), Philippines (200,000 t), Nigeria (195,000 t), Benin (165,000 t), Guinea -Bissau (155,000 t), Indonesia (150,000 t), Brazil (110,000 t) and Ghana (70,000 t).

Thirdly, India ranks first (16,196,000 t), China (4,400,000 t), Thailand (2,985,530 t), Indonesia (2,376,339 t), Mexico (1,760,588 t), Pakistan (1,680 .388 t), Brazil (1,175,735 t), Bangladesh (945,059 MT), Nigeria (860,000 MT), Egypt (786,528 MT) and Ghana (15,000 MT). Fourth, coconut, Indonesia in first place (42.5 million t), Malaysia (18.5 million t), Thailand (2.8 million t), Colombia (1.5 million t), Nigeria (1 , 0 million t), other countries (5.9 million t) and Ghana (400,000 MT).

Fifth, the oil palm comes from West Africa, but ECOWAS is one Net importer of raw palm oil and raw palm kernel oil. For crude palm oil, Indonesia comes first (44,500,000 MT), Malaysia (19,700,000 MT), Thailand (3,100,000 MT), Colombia (1,650,000 MT), Nigeria (1,280,000 MT), Guatemala (880,000 MT); Honduras (600,000 MT); Papua New Guinea (565,000 t), Brazil (550,000 t); Ecuador (545,000,000 MT); Ivory Coast (515,000 MT); Cameroon (465,000 MT) and Ghana (365,000 MT).

It is believed that Malaysia learned the agronomic practice of oil palm cultivation in Ghana in the early 20th century. Finally, when it comes to rubber, Thailand comes first (4,305,000 t), Indonesia (3,088,000 t), Malaysia (997,000 t), India (891,000 t), China (864,000 t), Vietnam (790,000 t), Philippines (548,000 t) t), Cote d’Ivoire (411,000 MT), Guatemala (356,000 MT), Brazil (186,000 MT) and Ghana (21,440 MT) in 18NS Position. According to the available data, Ghana is not among the top ten producing countries for five of the tree crops.

The economic opportunities of tree crops are great and are likely to be better in the future. For example, the global palm oil industry was estimated at $ 65.73 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 7% to $ 92.84 billion in 2021 between 2016 and 2021, value chains of crops aimed at the Closing the divide between Ghana and its competitors to chain out of foreign exchange earnings, employability, vertical links etc as a way to galvanize the latent subsector.

Cameroonian development cooperation

The Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) is a success story to share with investors. The CDC was founded in 1947 and includes their plantation 42,027 hectares composed of rubber (22,282 hectares), oil palm (15,240 hectares) and banana (4,525 hectares). It has overall 22,036 workers of which 18,065 hourly wages, supervisory staff (635), management (289) and seasonal workers (3,047). The CDC exports high quality semi-finished products, raw palm oil, palm kernel oil, raw palm kernel oil and high quality edible bananas to Germany and France.

Findings from the development agenda for tree crops in other countries

The lessons learned include:

  • Ghana has 75.6% (102,816 km.)2) an arable area of ​​136,000 km²2 for arboriculture plantation development across the country;
  • Ghana is not among the top ten producing countries for cashew, mango, coconut, oil palm and rubber, hence the need to support the TCDA’s catch-up intervention for arboriculture productivity;
  • The investment potential of the value chains for tree crops is so great that the country will benefit enormously from it;
  • The return on investment of arboriculture value chains is high, dependent on sizeable plantations and the introduction of modern agronomic and farming practices;
  • The 76-year-old CDC continues to expand its plantations to support the socio-economic and infrastructural development of rural communities through corporate social responsibility in the areas of education, health, drinking water, etc.;
  • To overcome the limitations of the land ownership system, the National House of Chiefs, families and individuals who are administrators of the farmland are encouraged to work with investors to participate in the arboriculture development agenda to create wealth for their constituents. Typical examples mentioned are the Juaben, Juabeng-Ashanti, Bechem, Bechem, Ahafo region, oil mills, etc .;
  • Investors include religious organizations, individuals, corporations (private and public), families, diaspora communities, farmers’ organizations, trade associations, etc. who have the financial resources and expertise that should work with landowners to fully participate in the development agenda for Tree crops;
  • The TCDA should urgently have a number of community engagement and investment programs to highlight the business opportunities (cost efficiency), guidelines, regulations and standards, technical support, financial assistance, business advice, horizontal and vertical links, partnership and lease agreements, outgrower programs, plantations -Outgrower program contract management etc to raise stakeholders’ awareness, interest, desire – so that they eventually take concrete action to own arboriculture plantations of sizeable size to earn adequate financial returns in the next three or four Decades;
  • In addition, the TCDA should use an integrated communication strategy via television advertising, billboards in viewing areas, flyers, social media, radio / FM announcements, print or newspaper advertisements, celebrities and lobbyists throughout the media landscape in Ghana and abroad in order to attract interest groups in the value chains for Tree crops to make informed decisions about partnership agreements, land acquisition, crop production, processing, trade and export in the country’s four agroecological zones;
  • Arboriculture investors need to be made aware that other countries have been charging raw materials sold as a source of income to support the financial sustainability of the arboriculture development agenda. I made a similar remark in the Chronicle newspaper a few years ago on Lessons Learned from Malaysia in the Palm Oil Industry in Ghana;
  • Government institutions that are now financially sound should be encouraged to invest in the TCDA as equity partners and recoup their investments beyond 2030 so that we do not collectively starve the new flagship intervention with funding to realize its potential and undermine their credibility with stakeholders.

In particular Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), Ghana Gas Company Limited, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Agricultural Development Bank, Ghana EXIM Bank Limited, Development Bank of Ghana, Farmers and Trade Association, Pension and Insurance Company, Metropolitan , Municipal, district assemblies (MMDAs), etc., should be encouraged to contribute equity and / or debt to ensure the TCDA is funded and productively managed to meet the ambitious annual revenue target of $ 16 billion by 2028 reach;

  • Finally, we should not forget that as tree crops are planted across the country, we will increase carbon sequestration capacity, which in turn can mitigate the negative effects of climate change and environmental degradation, as well as our resilient efforts to restore our ruined landscape.


The author thanks His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, the Honorable Minister of Food and Agriculture, the board members and the management team of the TCDA for the hectic efforts, expertise and organizational resources aimed at bridging the gap between Ghana and other tropical countries to close an arboriculture development agenda. History will recognize their contribution to that agenda as we meet our sales target of $ 16 billion beyond 2028.

I swear Property owners as partners of investors thus part of the country 102,816 km2 the arable land can be placed under arboriculture plantations aimed at creating sustainable prosperity in our economy, like in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, etc.

The author is the director, Advisory Board, MDPI, Accra. Tel: +233 (0) 244 172 411 and email: [email protected]

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