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September 14, 2008

New port cold storage terminal to spur Ghanaian exports

Ghana is expected to fetch over $1.2 billion in foreign exchange annually. This follows the inauguration of a-300,000-metric-ton capacity world class fruit terminal facility at Tema for the storage of horticultural produce annually.

The US$5million facility is part of a three-phase programme aimed at upgrading the cold chain infrastructure of the maritime and airport as well as the construction of farm pack houses, with the view to opening up the horticultural sector of the economy. The facility which began in 2006 under the Agricultural Services Sub-Sector Investment Programme (AgSSIP), through a World Bank facility, also included the conversion of an old open shed occupying some 4,400-square-metres into eight fully refrigerated chambers completed with cold store facilities.

Inaugurating the fruit depot at shed nine at the Tema Harbour, Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, said the facility marks the successful completion of the first phase of the government’s programme of diversifying agriculture through non-traditional trade improvement as part of the development of the horticultural industry. Government, he hinted, was constructing a similar facility at the Kotoka International Airport by tapping into the Millennium Challenged Account (MCA) as the second phase of the programme, while the third phase would visit and address the issue of infrastructure both at the farm site and roads leading to the farms where actual production took place.

These developments, the Vice President observed, would facilitate both internal and external trade as the country take advantage of supportive weather and better proximity in the export market. According to Aliu Mahama, “here in Ghana, it is ‘summer’ all year round; a situation which enhances and supports organic production of horticultural products. As of now the European Union alone imported 90,000 tons of fresh produce from Ghana since 2007 which earned us some 80 million Euros.” He therefore expressed hope that the converted facility would play a special role in contributing to the transformation of the Tema Port to be seen as the port of choice serving the West African sub-region.

Peace FM

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