Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-31

Overview:

Agriculture is an important part of Ghana’s economy and contributes roughly 20% of Gross Domestic Product. Ghana’s agriculture is predominantly smallholder, traditional and rain-fed. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, about 60 % of all farms in the country are less than 1.2 hectares in size, 25 % are between 1.2 to 2.0 hectares, with about 15 % above 2.0 hectares.  Ghana’s farming systems vary across agro-ecological zones. There are however some features that cut across farmlands throughout the country. The middle belt of the country holds the forest zone, where tree crops like cocoa, oil palm, coffee and rubber flourish. The food crops in this area include maize, plantain, cocoyam and cassava. Maize, millet, cowpeas, groundnuts, yam and rice are some of the main crops that are cultivated in the northern parts of Ghana.

Currently, there are several government programs that are aimed at changing the narrative of farming as the purview of old, uneducated people;

One of these is the ‘’Planting for Food and Jobs’’ program which was designed to promote growth in food production and create jobs across the country. The program is structured around seed provision, Fertilizer, Extension Services and Marketing.

The other is the ‘’Youth in Agriculture’’ program which seeks to encourage youth participation in the agricultural sector. This effort seeks to change the negative perception the youth have of agriculture. The Youth in Agriculture program has four components being, Crops, Livestock and Poultry, Fisheries and Agribusiness The program provides farmers with tractor services, as well as subsidized, interest -free inputs.

With the launch of the One district, one factory, an initiative of the current administration, the push towards agro-processing has seen a boost. The ‘One district, one factory’ is a Government of Ghana policy which is aimed at developing the value chain of local produce. The policy was introduced in 2016 and seeks to move the country towards industrialization. According to available data, 58 out of 181 factories have been built with a further 26 at various stages of completion.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects:

Ghana remains a major importer of food products, with imports of agricultural and related products estimated to have reached $2 billion in 2019. Food and agricultural imports will continue to grow as Ghana’s underdeveloped food processing sector is unable to meet increasing demand. According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana’s agricultural production meets only half of domestic cereal and meat needs and 60 per cent of domestic fish consumption. This presents an opportunity for companies that can bridge the gap.

Ghana is ranked the second-largest importer of tomato paste in the world, with a consumption average of 25,000 tons of tomato paste at a cost of $25 million every year.

Food imports mostly comprise bulk, intermediate and consumer-oriented commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar and poultry. U.S. export of agricultural and related products to Ghana in 2019 was $135 million, up by 33.7 percent from $101 million in 2018. Although U.S. exports to Ghana had mostly been rice, poultry and wheat, exports of U.S. snack foods NESOI, dairy products, fruit and vegetable juices, non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast cereals, beef & beef products, forest products, hides & skins, and planting seeds recorded significant growth in 2019. Based on year over year growth in 2019, the 10 best U.S. high-value consumer-oriented product prospects categories for the Ghanaian market in descending order are; forest products, snack foods NESOI, dairy products, processed vegetables and fruits & vegetable juices. Non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast cereals, beef & beef products, poultry meat & products and condiments & sauces complete the list of 10 best U.S. high-value consumer-oriented product prospects categories in that order.

The 2019 top 10 leading suppliers of agricultural and related products to Ghana in descending order are; Vietnam, Belgium, Canada, China and the United States.  Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Brazil are the remaining suppliers. Imports of consumer-oriented food from the European Union remains strong.

Ghana’s Agricultural and Related Imports for 2015-2019 (in millions of dollars)

Source of Imports

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

U.S.

89.43 (5.2%)

78.00 (4.5%)

119.50 (5.6%)

100.95(4.9%)

135.12(6.6%)

World

1,716.15

1,751.02

2,116.71

2,069.34

2,040.44

Source:         Trade Data Monitor LLC

Ghana’s BICO Imports for 2014-2018 (in millions of dollars)

Product

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Bulk[1]

15.17

1.82

31.68

18.40

12.97

Bulk[2]

284.35

289.88

298.95

342.64

273.35

Intermediate1

8.42

9.03

5.80

5.36

6.05

Intermediate2

488.25

441.13

614.86

505.32

513.35

Consumer Oriented1

51.85

58.00

65.59

58.79

72.22

Consumer Oriented2

721.67

747.58

889.73

856.68

951.68

Ag. Rel. Products1

13.99

9.15

16.43

18.40

43.88

Ag. Rel. Products2

221.88

272.43

313.17

364.70

302.06

Total1

89.43

78.00

119.50

100.95

135.12

Total2

1,716.15

1,751.02

2,116.71

2,069.34

2,040.44

Source:         Trade Data Monitor LLC

Opportunities

  • Growing middle class driving consumption oh high value food products
  • Demand for intermediate products by growing food processing industry
  • Entry and growth of U.S. fast food franchises
  • Relatively good infrastructure: ports, airport and roads
  • Consumers looking for ready-to-eat products as per capita income grows
  • Country remains the ideal regional distribution logistics hub
  • Increasing preference for American lifestyle due to ties with relatives in the United States
  • Growing tourism and corporate hotel industry

Information Resources:

Ghana Statistics Service, African Development Bank Group, Trading Economics and Focus Economics.

 

[1] Sourced from the United States

[2] Sourced from the World