The quest by Ghana to transform its economy through Agriculture continues to gain momentum under the leadership of His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.
Following the successful implementation of the food crop module of its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs initiative(PFJ), Government is set to achieve yet another milestone in the agriculture set with the introduction of an authority to oversee the production, sales and marketing of six major tree crops in the country.
The authority, which is under the Planting for Export and Rural Development module of the PFJ, is expected to lead the agenda of the diversification of Ghana’s agricultural export commodity from the over reliance on cocoa to other tree crops which have similar economic benefits similar to that of cocoa.
These crops are Cashew, Oil Palm, Shea, Coconut, Coffee and Rubber. The TCDA will therefore be responsible for coordinating the activities of all the major stakeholders involved in the production of these seven major crops.
To be Headquartered in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, the Authority will have semblance of COCOBOD, and will put in place policies and programmes to ensure production, pricing and marketing of the commodities.
Currently, cocoa is the only major export commodity of the country, earning Ghana an annual of over $2.5BN US Dollars.
But with the potentials of the other tree crops, Ghana could soon quadruple its agricultural export earnings, with the anticipation that these individual tree crops could fetch the country as much as cocoa annually.
The programme is expected to take place at the Golden Bean Hotel on Monday, September 28, 2020 and will officially begin the commencement of work of the authority.
PERD AND THE TCDA: THE LINKAGE AND WHAT YOU MUST KNOW
- Pursuant to the campaign tour in 2016 the NPP made commitment to the people of Ghana that if given the chance it would ensure that a regulatory institution will be established to accelerate the development of the tree crop sub sector just as we have seen with COCOBOD.
- Following the assumption into power, the government recognised the agriculture sector as a tool for accelerated rural development to achieve inclusive growth development.
- It has therefore initiated interventions geared towards developing specific sectors of our agriculture sector namely planting for food and jobs, rearing for food and jobs, 1 village 1 dam, rural mechanization project, green house project and the planting for export and rural development.
- The Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) Programme, launched in 2019 at Dunkwa on Offin, focusing on developing the tree crop subsector, is a market oriented rural base value chain intervention that seeks to increase and widen Ghana’s export portfolio and accelerate rural development. The PERD Programme mainly driven by
a. Efficient onfarm support which involves the delivery of modernized extension services, formalized farmer groups, digitally mapped farms and production and free distribution of elite planting materials of cashew, coconut, oil palm, mango, coffee, shea and rubber
b. Reliable Business support that sought to facilitate business solutions for the businesses along the seven (7) value chains under the programme
c. Regulatory support – Recognizing the need to safeguard private sector investments into the tree crop sector and make it more competitive, regulatory institutions are established and where necessary existing regulations are reviewed. Thus the Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA)
- The tree crop sector is strategically positioned to drive Ghana’s industrialization agenda through the 1D1F policy towards the Ghana Beyond Aid Vision. The Ghanaian tree crop sector is confronted with peculiar challenges – unregulated sector, poor and unreliable pricing mechanism, weak extension regimes, inadequate credit support, weak public sector commitment, etc.
- The TCDA ACT (ACT 1010) was passed by parliament in December 2019 to undertake two (2) critical activities – development and regulation of the tree crop sector.
- Management structure
The TCDA is composed of a 29-member board to which 24 members are nominated by the private sector. The executive management is headed by the Chief Executive Officer who is supported by the Chief Operations Officer, General Counsel and the Chief Finance Officer
- Uniqueness of the TCDA
Unlike COCOBOD, composition of the board is mainly made up of private sector. National value chain associations nominate their four members each into the authority through a proven self-designed process that ensured transparency and commitment of all value chain actors. The nomination must be representative along the value chain.
Nominations into the authority is exclusively apolitical
Secondly there is a sustainable funding mechanism that ensures the authority has capacity and coupled with the power from the ACT, able to carry its mandate devoid of any political interference
Thirdly, key operational decisions in each value chain are taken by the committees headed by value chain specialists. These value chain specialist work directly under the Deputy Chief Operations officer. The committees review value chain proposals and requests and through the COO, approvals are sought from the Board as and when necessary.