- Ghana will get over US $1.2 billion in foreign exchange following the inauguration of 300,000 metric ton capacity for storage of horticulture produce annually.
World class storage at Tema Harbour is part of US $5million programme to upgrade infrastructure of maritime, airport and construction of farm pack houses to enhance horticulture share in the country's economy.
Ghanaian vice president Alhaji Aliu Mahama said facility marked successful completion of first phase of New Patriotic Party government's programme of diversifying agriculture, through non-traditional trade improvement as part of development of horticultural industry.
"Government is constructing a similar facility at Kotoko International Airport by tapping into Millennium Challenge Account as second phase of the programme," he said, indicating that the third phase would visit and address issue of infrastructure both at the farm site and roads leading to farms where actual production took place.
He said storage would facilitate both internal and external trade as the country take advantage of supportive weather and better proximity in the export market.
According to Aliu Mahama, all year summer season in Ghana lays a good foundation for enhanced organic production of horticulture products.
"As at now European Union alone imported 90,000 tons of fresh produce from Ghana since 2007 which earned us some 80 million Euros," he said, stating that the converted facility would play a special role in contributing to the transformation of the Tema Port to be seen as the port of choice serving West African sub-region.
Vice president said investments in infrastructure were not only meant to meet the objective of Poverty Reduction Strategy and NEPAD accord, but also to play critical role in boosting growth of the economy.
Mr Aliu Mahama also admitted food shortages posed a strong challenge to African governments, suggesting that situation requires a rethink of competitiveness in the wake of rising efficiency and fuel costs.
The construction of the facility began in 2006 under Agricultural Services Sub-Sector Investment Programme (AgSSIP), through a World Bank facility. It included conversion of an old open shed occupying some 4,400-square-metres into eight fully refrigerated chambers completed with cold store facilities.
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