The Regional Director of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr. Chris Amponsah Sackey has paid a courtesy call on the Hon. Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa at the office, Ho. The purpose of the call was to brief the Hon. Regional Minister on some of the activities of the Authority in the Region.

Touching on the activities, Mr. Sackey stated that the Authority in June 2020 launched the Coconut Revitalization Project in the Region and fifty thousand (50,000) seedlings had been distributed to farmers across the Region. He indicated that the Authority had visited some of the farmers to monitor the progress of the coconut farms. Mr. Sackey shared with the Hon. Regional Minister some of the issues identified during the monitoring visits with regards to the inability of some of the farmers to plant the seedlings. However, he stated that over 70% of the seedlings distributed were doing well. He, therefore, expressed appreciation to the Hon. Regional Minister for participating in the launch.

Mr. Amponsah Sackey also stated that the Authority had begun implementing a Youth in Export Programme. The programme, according to him, is targeted at getting youth with agricultural background and those without it but interested in agriculture to undertake a 6-month internship with firms exporting agricultural produce (farm produce). He stated that after the internship, the intern is supported to cultivate the produce of the firm, and the firm (mentor) becomes an off-taker. He explained further that with the passage of time, the intern would be able to export the produce on his or her own.

He indicated that 100 youths are targeted to benefit from the 2nd phase of the programme which would be done in partnership with the Youth Employment Agency and the National Service Scheme.  He pointed out that the 1st phase was done in partnership with the YEA.

He also briefed the Hon. Regional Minister on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) GEPA signed with the TIAST Group aimed at supporting farmers to set up Cassava Processing factories with machinery provided by the Group.  He indicated that GEPA is to help farmers form a cluster, and provide them with high-yielding cassava planting materials among others in order for them to be able to enter an agreement with TIAST Group for the provision and installation of the Cassava Processing Machine. 

Furthermore, the Regional Director briefed the Hon. Regional Minister on a One District One Exportable Product Programme the Authority is implementing. He stated that the programme had begun on a pilot basis with five (5) Municipalities/Districts of the Region.

In order to get more people of the Region to know about the activities of the Authority, Mr. Sackey requested the support of the Co-ordinating Council in awareness creation.

Finally, Mr. Sackey informed the Hon. Regional Minister on the high demand for ginger for export which farmers in the Region could take advantage of.

The Hon. Regional Minister on his part expressed gratitude to the Regional Director for the briefing. He also indicated how impressed he was with what the Authority had been doing in the Region, and stated the need for a vigorous awareness campaign on the activities and programmes of the Authority as well as what it has to offer.

Dr. Letsa advised the Regional Director of the Authority to have an engagement with the Regional Chapter of Association of Ghana Industries, the Regional Department of Agriculture, and the Regional Economic Planning Officer of the Co-ordinating Council.

He also stressed the need for the Authority to engage the Municipal and District Assemblies (Hon. Municipal and District Chief Executives, Municipal and District Co-ordinating Directors, and Municipal and District Directors of Department of Agriculture on most of the programmes and project of the Authority.