President Nana Akufo-Addo has appointed former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr William Quaitoo, as the CEO of the Tree Crop Development Authority.
Mr Quaitoo, who resigned in August 2017, after describing people of northern extraction as “difficult people” and later issuing an apology for what he described as his “unguarded” comment, is deputised by Mr Yaw Osei Oteng, in charge of Finance and Administration, and Foster Boateng, in charge of Operations.
The Authority has a 29-member Board of Directors chaired by Mr Stephen Sekyere-Abankwa.
Inaugurating the Authority in Kumasi, Ashanti Region on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, the President assured the members of the Authority of the systematic efforts being made by the government to secure funding for the upgrading of the relevant research institutions to assist in the effective development of the sector.
The Authority’s focus will be on the development of tree crops and the consequential benefits to be accrued to the country.
At the inauguration ceremony at the Golden Bean Hotel in Kumasi, President Akufo-Addo explained that the government’s strategy is to promote the development of tree crops, other than cocoa, with equal or even higher economic potential.
“The Tree Crops Development Authority, which is the legal and institutional outcome of PERD, will lead the agenda for the diversification of Ghana’s agriculture by developing the tree crops sector,” he said.
The President continued, “To kick start the implementation of PERD, seven tree crops namely mango, cashew, shea, rubber, cocoa, oil palm and coffee have been identified and selected for promotion under the programme, six (6) of which are directly under the supervision of the Authority. I am hopeful that, sooner than later, coffee will also be brought under the direct supervision of the Authority.”
With its headquarters, here, in Kumasi, the Authority will operate like COCOBOD, and put in place policies and programmes to guide research, production, pricing and marketing of the six (6) tree crops.
He told the gathering that if the economic potential of the six (6) selected tree crops are properly harnessed, Ghana could soon increase exponentially her agricultural export earnings.
Thus far, 220,257 farmers have enrolled onto the PERD programme, whilst 235,850 hectares of land have been cultivated, with a total of thirty million seedlings of the various crops produced and to be distributed to farmers and interested persons.
“At full implementation, the PERD programme will link agriculture to industry through the provision of a solid raw material base for industrialisation, develop our rural economies, and assist in the structural transformation of the national economy. All these will propel growth, create employment, particularly for the youth, and the creation of wealth,” the President added.
The President was confident that, in the fullness of time, Government’s approach will be wholly vindicated when all these initiatives are vigorously implemented.
“The over-arching vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid is neither rhetoric nor gimmickry. We are determined, through action, to achieve this vision, and today’s programme is a clear indication of our total commitment. With God on our side, we shall surely succeed,” he added.