He assures that there is also growing demand for fresh fruits for processing into fresh cuts for export, juice for both local consumption and export, and drying for export, and that companies such as Blue Skies, Peelco and HPW do not have enough fresh pineapples for processing.
Pineapple production in Ghana continues to concentrate in the Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta regions. The main variety grown for export (both sea and air freight) is the MD2. The Smooth Cayenne and Sugar Loaf are also shipped by air, although their production is more limited.
Production and exports are carried out all year round, although shipments overseas peak between November and April. “In 2014, a total of 34,000 tonnes of fresh pineapple were exported worth $ 18.0 million,” as reported by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
The European Union continues to be the major market for fresh Ghanaian pineapples, notably Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and the UK, among others. The next most important market is the Middle East, and lately also Turkey. “These other markets are important alternatives to the EU market, especially when the EU demand drops during certain periods,” explains Mr Mintah.
Most of the global pineapple trade is currently carried out by sea freight, with limited volumes exported by air. Mintahexplains that air-freighted fruits are more expensive, and it is also worth noting that vast improvements have been made to sea-freighting, with fruits arriving to their destinations in great condition.
Mr Mintah assures that Ghana still has the potential to further boost its production and export. “Technical competence is high and Good Agricultural Practices are enforced. We also have sufficient access to the necessary post-harvest infrastructure to ensure good quality, such as automated packing lines, cold storage facilities, packing houses, haulage trucks, etc.”
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