“Groundnut must be Ghana’s next cash crop after cocoa”

Agriculturist, Professor David Miller, wants Ghana to make groundnut its second cash crop after cocoa.

According to him, the negative impact of the fall in price of cocoa on the economy is an indication that urgent steps need to be taken to create more cash crops for the nation.

“Cocoa has sustained the economy for long. If you say agriculture is the backbone of your economy and you have only one commodity that is sustaining the economy you are not business-like, to use their own terms, you are not efficient. It means if that one commodity fails the economy will collapse,” Prof. Miller told Starr Business.

Government has blamed its extensive borrowing this year to finance capital investment to the drop in the world prices of the country’s two main export commodities – cocoa and gold.

Prof Miller said this development can only be averted if the nation creates more cash crops.

“So I’m saying that if really agriculture is the backbone of the economy, let’s make conscious effort like we made in cocoa to grow another crop to the level of cocoa as second by way of export crop.”

He is proposing groundnut because, the crop’s cultivation and harvest is less than a year. It can be grown in most parts of Ghana.

“The crops that I know and familiar with groundnut is the best offer. It is the one that is least dependent on farm input and the region for growing groundnut is wide. It is the whole of the Northern region, northern Brong Ahafo, northern Volta then the coastal areas up to Winneba they all can produce groundnut,” Miller noted.

Ghana’s non-traditional exports earning in 2013 was US$2.4billion, out of which groundnut exports amounted to US$6.4 million.