Ghana misses another chance to export to Turkey

turkey tradeGhana has missed three separate opportunities to export crude palm oil (CPO), tuna and aluminium ingots to Turkey this year under circumstances that cast doubts on the country’s preparedness to properly diversify exports and increase earnings from the sector.

The Director of Projects at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr Emmanuel Quao, told the Daily Graphic in Izmir, Turkey, that a Turkish company which wanted 26,000 tonnes of CPO supplied to it on monthly basis was turned down because palm oil producers in the country could not raise the required amount to support that kind of production.

“None of the producers was able to take up the order and we also tried to get smallholder producers to make up for the quantities but that didn’t work,” Mr Quao, who coordinates Ghana’s participation in Turkish fairs, told the paper in Turkey.

The failure to grab such opportunities, the fruits of the country’s participation in international fairs in Turkey over the years, was due to the inability of companies in these sectors to meet the quantity of orders made on each of the three occasions. This means a loss of millions of foreign exchange in export revenues.

Mr Quao spoke to the Daily Graphic at the 83rd Izmir International Trade Fair, in which 14 companies in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, cosmetics and sporting industries of the economy are participating.

The fair is an annual event by the people of Izmir for businesses around the world to showcase their products and services to the world, as well as explore opportunities for cross-border investments.

This year’s event opened on August 29 and ended yesterday, September 3.

VALCO, Myrock disappoint

Mr Quao also said Turkish investors who wanted to cash in on the country’s aluminium and tuna processing industries also suffered the same fate.

With the aluminium ingots, Mr Quao explained that a deal for the monthly importation of the products to Turkey was cut short becuse of the failure of the Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO) to provide supplies.

“When we got to VALCO for them to take up the order, we realised that they had issues with energy and were actually producing at just one-fifth of their installed capacity,” he explained.

“For tuna, we had an enquiry to import the product but ahead of that, there was a request for some few samples. However, when we went to the company that participated in the 2013 Izmir Fair for which the Turkish company was attracted to import the product from Ghana, we realised the company was not operating because Ghana had issues with the European Union (EU), where this company exports to; we also missed that opportunity,” Mr Quao said, declining to mention the name of the company.

The Daily Graphic, however, found out that the company in question was Myrock Food Processing Company, which was also under financial distress at the time the enquiry was made.

Issues with capacity and AGI’s concern

This is not the first time businesses in the country are missing out on export orders due to lack of capacity. Similar issues played out against the likes of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Sea-Freight Pineapple Exporters Association (SPEG) and honey producers.

With respect to the crude palm oil, checks by the Daily Graphic indicated that the current largest producer of CPO in the country, Avnash Industries Ghana Limited (AIG), has an installed capacity of 500 tonnes a day. This translates into 15,000 tonnes a month.

The other sizeable producers of CPO in the country – the Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC), Twifo Oil Palm Plantations (TOPP), Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP) and Norpalm Ghana Limited – could not also help as their combined outputs of 4,410 MT per month, according to data provided on their respective websites, were far below the expected demand.

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), which is the umbrella body of manufacturing and related service providers in the country, expressed disappointment at the county’s inability to meet such orders.

“It is sad to hear that industry needs support to build its capacity to be able to meet orders like these,” the Director of Business Development of the association, Mr Kwame Agyekum, said in a separate interview.

The GEPA, however, said it was working to get smallholder farmers, organise them into groups and give them training and financial support to be able to improve their capacity to increase production, Mr Quao explained.

Disclaimer: Comments by third parties do not in any way reflect the views of Raw Gist. We, however, reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comment. [ Terms & Conditions ]

Leave a Reply

(Your email address will not be published)