Sweet potatoes from Ghana can be obtained throughout the year, says Bobby Gyesi, president and co-founder of SGA Farms: “The sweet potato season in Ghana is year-round as a result of the climatic conditions, but most of the cultivation is centered around June -November where rainfall is at its peak. We aim to take advantage of our year-round water access and cultivate primarily during November-January in order to ship to clients during peak demand periods.”
The exporter from Ghana has formed an association with other farms in the country to make themselves a stronger presence in the market, Gyesi explains. “With the assistance of The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), SGA Farms in conjunction with other commercial Ghanaian farms formed the Association of Sweet Potatoes Producers of Ghana (ASPEG). ASPEG aims to shape policy and support the growth of its members in the sweet potatoes industry.”
The next step in sweet potato cultivation in Ghana is finding more suitable varieties that are in demand, Gyesi states: “We recently completed successful trials of the Bellevue and Orleans variety from Nativaland and their Ghanaian partner, Koranco Farms. The climatic conditions in Ghana are inducive for sweet potatoes. Despite the erratic rainfall pattern, we were able to withstand the challenges, because of the farms access to water year-round.”
That said, it’s been a challenging year, as Ghana wasn’t spared from every cost increasing during the operation. “There were drastic increases in inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides, this was compounded by skyrocketing inflation in Ghana. The conditions were even made more difficult as a result of the Russia- Ukraine conflict. In the face of the challenges, we are pursuing full scale production, because of European and Middle Eastern demand. SGA Farms aims to be one of the main sweet potato exporters in the West Africa region,” Gyesi concludes.
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