Chili pepper and other key vegetable exporters are worried about rising freight charges by international airlines, a phenomenon that is deterring exports to the EU and US markets amid increasing demand for the commodities. Due to their perishability, fruit and vegetables are best transported by air per international best practices and standards.
But current freight charges for a kilogram of chili pepper, shallots, okra, and other vegetables have gone up by more than 50 percent to US$1.90 and US$2 for others. Currently, a ton of chili pepper transported by international cargo to the EU costs local exporters no less than US$2,000, with freight charges to the UK higher than that.
Alongside tomato and onion, chili ranks as one of Ghana's three most important vegetable crops in terms of hectarage and crop value, with significant potential for export revenues. Despite its prospects, local farmers are able to meet less than 40 percent of the achievable yields of chili production per annum.