Ghana has begun the export of plantain to Burkina Faso and other countries in the West African sub-region. This nation’s bumper harvest of plantain, the number three food crop in Ghana, after yam and cassava, has resulted in the export of the produce from Agogo and its environs to Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire.
Government intervention in the conflicts between growers and nomadic herdsmen has paid off, as well as the construction of the 75-kilometre road from Agogo to Maame Krobo in the Afram Plains. This has encouraged many farmers to go into plantain farming on the plains, instead of the previous practice of farming only in the forest areas.
Farmers in the Agogo area are now excited about the development, compelling them to find new markets for plantain outside Ghana to avoid a glut on the Ghanaian market. For many years in the past, Ghana imported plantain from Cote d’Ivoire and vegetables from the Sahel region. Although Ghana still imports tomatoes and onions from the Sahel region, officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture say moves are underway to end the importation.
Figures are not readily available on the quantity of plantain that has been exported to Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and other countries so far, but records in Agogo show that seven big trucks of plantain leave the town for Burkina Faso on a weekly basis.
According to a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) survey in 2006, plantain contributed about 13.1 per cent of the agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP) and per capita annual consumption of 101.8kg per head in Ghana.