Weather has caused production of papayas in Ghana to fall slightly, says Bobby Gyesi, president and co-founder of SGA Farms: “This year production levels for papaya have dipped slightly due to the effects of climate change. We have experienced higher temperatures and erratic rainfall. In addition to this, inflation in Ghana has passed 40%, which has caused production costs to increase significantly.”
SGA Farms already exports some of its produce to the European market, but would love to expand into new territories in the Southern part of Europe, Gyesi explains. “Demand for papaya has been steady despite factors as rising inflation, which has spurred some consumers to change their spending habits; high airfreight costs compounded, with capacity still being tight post-Covid. Our main export markets are in Europe, primarily Holland and the United Kingdom. We would like to explore opportunities to enter into Southern European countries, like Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as France. These countries all rank high when it comes to consumption of papayas.”
One of the main goals for SGA Farms is to prove they are trustworthy towards European buyers, as they are a smaller family owned business, Gyesi states: “One of the biggest challenges is educating consumers about our products. Still, many consumers are unfamiliar with Solo Golden papaya from Ghana, but once they get accustomed to our fruits that have a fragrant aroma and sweet and fruity taste, with Brix higher than 12, they are pleasantly surprised. Another challenge is building the trust of European importers, who may be a little reluctant to take a chance on a small family owned business, which may not have industry name recognition, unlike some of our industry colleagues from South America do.”
“I encourage anyone who has never tried a Solo Golden papaya to do so. It’s an unbelievable healthy fruit, that is rich in Vitamin C, which boost the immune system,” Gyesi concludes.
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