Ghana: Horti exporters lose $1.6 million to COVID-19

Due to lack of demand, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghanaian vegetable and fruit exporters are unable to send consignments to their buyers in Europe and other international markets. This situation has led to the exporters losing their produce estimated at $1.6 million along the value chain. The produce ranges from peppers (chillies), pineapples, bananas, citrus to mangoes.

According to the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG) about 200 vegetable and fruit exporters had so far lost a minimum of $1.6 million to post-harvest losses (PHL) from March this year when most foreign countries implemented COVID restrictions.

President of VEPEAG Felix Kamassah, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Wednesday, observed that the situation was having a negative impact on the industry. Since the virus was noticed in Europe, for instance, he explained, vegetable and fruit exporters had been hard hit, with the estimated financial cost differing from one exporting firm to another.

That, he explained, was because buyers who were mostly in Europe ceased their intake of supply due to the implementation of restrictions on human movement.

The development, he said, had led to the exporters losing their capital to the tune of $1.6 million because the commodities got rotten as they could not get to their destinations.

Data on vegetable exports from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) also showed a negative export fluctuations in the sector for the last decade. From US$1.75 million in 2009, foreign exchange derived from vegetable exports rose to US$4.35 million in 2011, before declining to US$608,304 in 2016.

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