Investing in Ghana's Cash Crops


Agriculture is the main driving force behind Ghana's economy, accounting for approximately 42% of the country's GDP and employing 54% of its work force. Ghana is the world's largest cocoa producer after Cote d'Ivoire. Ghanaian cocoa is grown by small-holder farmers.

The cocoa industry in Ghana is vital to the strength of the formal economy and it employs 1.5 million people in production and transport. In recent years, the government has encouraged the development of the non-traditional agricultural sector in order to diversify the country's export base.

Ghana is one of the world's largest cocoa producers. As in most cocoa-producing countries, Ghanaian cocoa is grown by small-holder farmers.

Over the years, the Government of Ghana has implemented policies that add value to Ghana's raw agricultural products (e.g. cocoa, cotton, oil palm, etc). In recent times, intensive efforts have been made by government to process some of these products; for example, volume of cocoa beans processed locally has doubled in the last decade.

Ghana's primary cash crops include:

  • cocoa
  • beans
  • palm
  • oil
  • pineapples
  • cotton
  • tomatoes
  • bananas
  • citrus fruits
  • coconuts
  • tobacco
  • cashew and fresh vegetables

Ghana's production of cotton is concentrated in the three Northern regions. It provides income to a large sector of the peasant farmer population.

Tomato is the most important vegetable in Ghana and a primary cash crop; annual production has doubled over the last thirty years.

Coconut production in Ghana is mainly in smallholdings (0.5-5.0 ha). Out of the annual national production of 224 million nuts, 179 million (80%) were produced by smallholders from an area of 36,000 hectares.

Orange, lemon, lime, grape, ginger, mangoes, banana, avocados, guava, and pineapples are cultivated on a large scale. Current production of citrus and pineapple is estimated at over 20,000 and over 60,000 metric tonnes annually respectively.

Cashew cultivation in Ghana is largely a small holder activity with majority of farmers having an average farm size of between 0.8 – 2.5ha. More than 60,000 small holder farmers are engaged in cashew cultivation in the country.

The government's major objective in the crops sector project is to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of crops through access to improved technological packages for increased productivity and ensure sustainable management of the environment in crop production systems.