Ghana - 3.5 Food and Additional Suppliers

Agricultural sector overview 

The Ghanaian agriculture sector is largely subsistence-based and dominated by the crop subsector. 


The agricultural sector is a major contributor to Ghana's overall gross domestic product. In 2021, the agriculture sector contributed about GHS 90b to the economy, representing 21% of the overall economic output.  

The sector is a major source of livelihood for about 33% of the country’s active labor force and engages about 83% of rural households.  

The median age in Ghana is 21 years with over 60% of the population within the ages of 15 and 64 years, indicating the availability of labour and a strong working force that drive development in the agriculture sector.  

Supportive government initiatives aimed at transforming the agriculture sector in Ghana from predominantly subsistence farming to commercial farming.  


The agricultural land area covers approximately 13.6m hectares representing about 57% of the country’s total land area, out of which, a total of 6.8m hectares, representing about 50%, is under cultivation and 222,978 hectares is under irrigation. This is indicative of the availability of arable land for commercial farming.  

Increased government focus to boost productivity in food to meet rising local demand and develop a viable local agroindustry.  

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement will bring greater market access to neighbouring countries. 


Smallholder farms make up majority of farms in Ghana with farms generally below 2 hectares in size. This does not augur well for medium/large scale farming.  

Cropping systems and types of crops cultivated vary from one ecological zone to another due to the varied nature of the country’s climatic conditions.  

Yields of staple and cash crops is relatively low. The World Development Indicators (WDI) reported the global average yield for cereals to be 4,070.7kg /hectare, while Ghana reported yield of 1,864.3kg /hectare.  

Other weaknesses include the negative effect of climate change and variability, low soil fertility, the incidence of pests and diseases, inadequate extension services and financial support, low use of improved agricultural technologies, and unsustainable agricultural production practices. 


Food crop production: 

With production of 22m tonnes in 2020, Ghana is the fourth largest producer of cassava in the world. Cassava is a very important root crop in Ghana with an estimated land area of 1 million hectares being used for cassava production and about 70% of farmers in Ghana are into cassava production.  

Ghana is the second largest producer of yam in the world behind Nigeria, having produced 8.5 million tonnes in 2020. The variety of yam produced in Ghana include pona, larebako, asana, dente, and muchumudu. The unique taste and quality of the pona variety is most preferred by consumers. Ghana also produces large quantities of plantain, maize, rice paddy, oil palm, oranges, pineapples, groundnuts, and coconuts.  


Food crop importation 

Ghana imports a large amount of rice paddy on an annual basis; 1.3 million tonnes of paddy rice was imported in 2020 as compared to 1 million tonnes produced locally. Aside paddy rice, a significant amount of internationally produced milled rice is imported to supplement local supply.  

Aside rice, Ghana imports other cereals into the country. Imported cereals in 2020 include wheat (873,000 tonnes), soybeans (84,333 tonnes), shea nuts (49,963 tonnes), malt (22,312 tonnes). ► Fruits and vegetables imported into the country in 2020 include apples (11,160 tonnes), garlic (7,081 tonnes), and tomatoes (4,000 tonnes). 


Lack of storage facilities in the past has contributed to significant postharvest losses in Ghana.  Government has taken a plethora of initiatives to increase warehousing capacity in the country. In 2016, a public-private partnership funded the establishment of the Ghana Airport Cargo Centre at the Kotoka International Airport; the facility has a capacity of 10,000 m2.  

In 2018, the erstwhile Ministry of Special Initiative in its Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) committed to constructing 50 prefabricated grain warehouses: each with a capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes. 42 out of these 50 warehouses were completed as of December 2020. 

The Government of Ghana has also launched the “0ne District One Warehouse” intervention to increase storage capacity.  

As of September 2021, 23 warehouses, each with a capacity of 1,000 metric tonnes, had been completed out of the target of 30 warehouses. 


Licensed warehouses under Ghana Grains Council  

Warehouse Capacity (mt)  

1 Grains Leaders Limited 500 mt 

2 Wienco (Ghana) Ltd 18,000 mt 

3 Wienco (Ghana) Ltd 6,000 mt 

4 Gunda Produce Company Ltd 500 mt 

5 Savanna Farmers Marketing Company Ltd 1,000 mt  

6 CDH Commodities Limited 4,600 mt 

7 AGMSIG Resources (Shekinah ABC) 1,000 mt  

8 BUSACA Agribusiness Company Ltd L 1,000 mt 

9 Premium Foods Ltd 18,000 mt 

10 Faranaya Agribusiness Company Ltd 1,000 mt  

11 GT Accra Poultry Farmers Association 3,000 mt 

Total 54,600 mt 

Detailed information can be found here 


Ghana possesses industrial minerals, hydrocarbons, and precious metals. It is an emerging designated digital economy with mixed economy hybridisation and an emerging market. It has an economic plan target known as the "Ghana Vision 2020". This plan envisions Ghana as the first African country to become a developed country between 2020 and 2029 and a newly industrialised country between 2030 and 2039. This excludes fellow Group of 24 member and Sub-Saharan African Country South Africa, which is a newly industrialised country.  


OVERVIEW: In 2021, Ghana was the number 71 economy in the world in terms of GDP (current US$), the number 84 in total exports, the number 83 in total imports, the number 156 economy in terms of GDP per capita (current US$) and the number 118 most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). 


EXPORTS: The top exports of Ghana are Gold ($5.29B), Crude Petroleum ($3.57B), Cocoa Beans ($1.51B), Cocoa Paste ($477M), and Coconuts, Brazil Nuts, and Cashews ($477M), exporting mostly to Switzerland ($2.44B), United Arab Emirates ($1.73B), United States ($1.56B), India ($1.53B), and China ($1.27B).  

IMPORTS: The top imports of Ghana are Refined Petroleum ($1B), Cars ($629M), Rice ($552M), Delivery Trucks ($474M), and Coated Flat-Rolled Iron ($422M), importing mostly from China ($8.1B), India ($1.1B), Netherlands ($1.04B), United States ($949M), and United Arab Emirates ($826M). 

In 2021, Ghana was the world's biggest importer of Used Clothing ($214M) 


TRADE: -1.27 RANK 118 OF 131 

RESEARCH: 0.21 RANK 47 OF 140 

EXPORTS $14.1B RANK 84 OF 226 | IMPORTS $20.2B RANK 83 OF 226 


Ghana is considered a middle-income country and has a good supplied market. It is possible to procure on the local market which can meet demand and has the ability to scale up if required. Some specific heavy equipment or high-tech devices might not be available in the local market. The main markets are in the southern part of Ghana while the northern part is poorer with smaller markets. Recent data reveals a clear evidence of a weakening manufacturing sector as domestic markets are now flooded with imports at highly competitive prices. 

The agricultural sector plays a crucial role in the economy of Ghana. In addition to contributing 60% of formal and informal employment, the sector has contributed an average of 35% to GDP in the past five years. The agricultural sector is segmented into crops (cereals and starchy crops such as cassava, plantain, and yam), livestock, fisheries, forestry and cocoa. There are no large-scale processing facilities that use the main agricultural produce of the country apart from those that process cocoa. Supply chains for agribusinesses that rely on local agricultural produce such as maize, cassava and fruits are characterized by poor transportation infrastructure, poor storage systems and an absence of quality-assurance systems. The result is irregular deliveries, unreliable performance on supply contracts and a high cost of inputs. 


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