Citrus growers in Ghana improve their yields

02.04.2015 – Ghana’s Government promotes local citrus sector through training. GIZ has supported this process since 2012 under a special cooperation Arrangement.

Some 20,000 farmers in Ghana work in the citrus industry. But insect infestation and plant diseases, together with unproductive work processes, often hamper cultivation. Many of the seedlings are pest-ridden, making them useless for further planting. This is the entry point for a cooperation arrangement between Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation and GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

‘The overall aim of the cooperation is to help improve the quality of citrus production and increase sustainable income for all actors along the citrus value chain,’ says Charles Kwame Sackey from GIZ. In its work, the arrangement takes into account all production processes, from planting to marketing of the finished produce. More than six one-week training courses have already been held since 2012 to show local farmers and ministry staff how to work more effectively and use new farming methods.

The demand is huge. So far, almost 2,000 farmers have taken part in the courses. They not only learn how to control pests, but also how to better protect the plants and soil in future. The courses also cover the ecologically sound use of resources and improvements in tree nursery standards, as well as help with marketing the produce. The training courses themselves are also a huge success. Farmers use better seeds and benefit from more productive cultivation methods. This has made it possible to almost triple yields in recent years. Many farms have been able to successfully expand their business and create new jobs. Meanwhile, the improved quality of products such as orange juice has meant that they can be sold on the international as well as the local market.