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EXPORT OF Ghana’s nontraditional products from January to December 2016 amounted to $2.463 billion.

The amount represented a decrease of 2.3 percent compared to the earnings of $2.522 billion in 2015.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) made this known on Thursday in Accra at the launch of the 2016 nontraditional export performance.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Eric Twum in a presentation said, the low performance in 2016 was largely due to the decline in the export of some processed cocoa products which fell by 16 percent from $643.3 million in 2015 to $542.3 million in 2016.

On earnings per sector, he indicated that the processed and semi processed subsector earnings amounted to $2,086.49 million, a decrease of -1.60 percent compared to $2,120.50 million earned in 2015 mainly due to the decline in the performance of cocoa products which fell by about 5 percent.

Earnings from export in the agricultural subsector during the period under review he said, amounted to $371.14 million compared to $396.92 million in 2015, representing a decrease of -6.49 percent.

“The subsector contributed 15.07 percent to the NTE earnings in 2016 with an 8 percent growth over a five-year period from 2012-2016,” he said.

During the period, according to him, the ECOWAS region overtook the European Union as the main consumers of Ghana’s nontraditional products, with Burkina Faso sitting at the top of the ten leading countries that imported such products from Ghana.

“The EU market declined by 11.8 percent whilst ECOWAS grew by 15 percent, he said, adding that Ghana’s nontraditional products were exported to 130 countries.

There were 1583 exporters who exported 484 nontraditional products, he said, adding that “the major contributors to nontraditional exports were the $50 million and above with a contribution of about 40.4 percent of the total nontraditional exports.”

There were several reasons for the decline, he said, saying that notable among them were lack of access to funding for exporters, poor packaging and the EU’s ban on some vegetable products from Ghana.

Cashew Adopted

Meanwhile, to help turn the situation in 2017, GEPA has decided to adopt cashew nuts a priority product for export.

CEO of GEPA, Gifty Klenam said the authority has set up a special department for the total development of cashew nuts.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that GEPA was making efforts to trade with Vietnam which has become the major importer of cashew nuts, taking over from India.

According to her, GEPA’s aim this year was to generate a total of $4 billion in earnings from nontraditional exports.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremateng in a speech read on his behalf indicated that Ghana was currently contending with trade deficits mainly caused by low exports.

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