rising star for Ghana’s export market
Ankiilu Kunateh, Ghanadot
Ghana has all the natural
conditions that can make her become a major
producer and exporter of papaya if the
appropriate practices are applied.
Indeed, Ghana’s geographical
location offers a favourable climate for
papaya production; papaya requires abundant
sunlight and water, a fertile soil, and
absolutely no frost condition(s).
Also, Ghana’s proximity to
Europe, the major market for papaya further
offers logistical advantage over other major
producing countries such as Brazil and
In spite of this, Ghana has
only managed to register a marginal presence
on the papaya market.
For instance, in 2008, the 15
core member states of the European Union
(EU) imported 35,750 metric tons of papaya
with a CIF value of 35million Euros. Out of
this, Ghana papaya amounted to 1,061 metric
tons, representing a market share of only
During the same year,
shipments to Switzerland represented 1,338
metric tons (of which 250 metric tons were
re-imports from the EU), Ghana’s supplied
only 10 tons.
In the past few years,
however, there has been an increased
investment in Ghana’s horticultural
industry. Ghana has been demonstrating its
determination to exploit its full potential
in the fresh produce export business by
making serious efforts to modernize every
level of its horticultural supply
chain-“from farm to fork” with the objective
of ensuring reliable and consistent delivery
of quality and volumes to its export
As part of this objective,
Ghana has completed the refurbishment of
Shed 9 into a fruit terminal at the Tema Sea
Port. The fully temperature-controlled ultra
modern facility covers a floor space of
400metres square as well as housing a
dedicated container-handling and plug-in
platform, the President of the Federation of
Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE),
Anthony Sikpa, has disclosed.
According to him, the fruit
terminal will seriously enhance
opportunities for sea shipment beyond the
use of airfreight shipment, since it is a
requirement for moving larger volumes.
At a stakeholders’ forum on
Papaya in Accra, yesterday, Mr. Sikpa
revealed that Golden papaya variety,
introduced into Ghana in 2006, has shown
great potential for increasing returns on
investment. This is due mainly to its
relatively low cost of production and farm
The Trade and Investment
Program for a Competitive Export Economy (TIPCEE)
has assisted a number of papaya producers to
conduct successful demonstrations of Golden
and Solo papaya field, employing various
interventions along the supply chain, he
Other interventions piloted
included drip irrigation, seed production,
establishing quality standards and
inspections criteria, Global GAP
certification, and packaging.
Through these demonstrations,
technical know how within the sector has
been developed to support growth and
expansion in the country.
Opportunities exist for
investment in large scale production for
both fresh and processed papaya for both
export and local markets.
Speakers at the forum
expressed the need to exploit the papaya
fruit production to boost especially the
agriculture economy in Ghana.
They observed that many
tropical countries have successfully
exploited this fruit crop as a commercial
crop and have brought a reasonable income to
the poor farmers.
Historically, papaya is a
native to Central America. In the 15th
century the seeds were transported to West
Indies, Philippines, Africa and the Indo-Pak
subcontinent before 17th century.
Sufficient papayas are grown
throughout the world and it is ranked 19th
among top 20 well known fruits of the world.