Mr Stephen Normeshie, the General Manger of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has said that groundnut has been identified as one of the major cash crops with huge export potentials for Ghana.
He made the disclosure at Navrongo in the Upper East Region to climax a three-month training programme for export-oriented chain operators, namely local producers, processors, traders and exporters.
The objective of the training programme was to reduce the level of aflatoxin contamination in groundnut, peanut butter and cereal products to meet EU technical regulations and standards.
Mr Normeshie emphasised that viewing the huge export potentials of groundnuts, there was the need for government, private sector and NGOs to invest the needed resources in the sector so as to help reduce poverty in Northern Ghana.
“Ghana with its favourable climatic conditions and abundant rich soil has a comparative and competitive advantage in groundnuts and cereal exports and, hence, is well positioned to take advantage of the international market opportunities to develop the sector”, he indicated.
The General Manger stated that as part of the National Export Strategy of GEPA which has a target to achieve US$ 5 billion from the non-traditional exports sector by 2019, groundnuts would be a critical contributor to achieving this export target set by the government.
He said it was against this background that his outfit with support from the European Union, through the Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling (TRAQUE) Programme started the training programme for groundnut farmers from Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions.
“The various actors along the groundnut value chain have been trained on topics such as the European Union general food law, good agricultural practices, pre-harvest operations, post-harvest operations, quality assurance and management, hazards in groundnut supply chain and processing, and utilization of groundnut.
"This aims to enhance export quality control, management and certification of groundnut and cereal products to the international markets”, the General Manager said.
The beneficiary areas in the Upper East Region are the Kassena -Nankana Municipality, Kassena –Nankana West District, Builsa South and Builsa North Districts and the Garu-Tempane District.