The food processing industry plays a major role in Ghana’s economy. Major food crops in Ghana generally consist of cereals and starchy foods. Cereals include maize, rice, millet, guinea corn and sorghum, while starchy crops include cassava, yam, cocoyam (taro) and plantain.
Currently, food processing in Ghana is done by medium scale enterprises. Over the years, the Government of Ghana has implemented policies that add value to Ghana’s raw agricultural products (e.g. cocoa, cotton, oil palm, etc.). In recent times, intensive efforts have been made by government to process some of these products; for example, volume of cocoa beans processed locally has doubled in the last decade.
In addition, there has been the establishment of a special initiative by the President of the Republic of Ghana for oil palm and cassava. The purpose is to expand and add value to non-traditional exports and to diversify the economy, create employment and improve local livelihoods.
The main processed food products are from:
• Oil palm
Investment opportunities exist for producers and processing companies in the following areas:
• Companies to process maize, yams, cassava, oil palm, citrus, mango, cashew, coconut, cowpea and traditional vegetables e.g. tomatoes, pepper
• Production of value-added cocoa and coffee products.
• Production of improved seeds and agrochemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides)
• Processing of dairy products
• Production of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides
• Processors and manufacturers to supply packaging materials
• Producers to supply planting materials
• Production of horticultural products for processing (e.g. maize, yams, cassava, oil palm, citrus, mango, cashew, coconut, cowpea and traditional vegetables e.g. tomatoes, pepper etc.) for national, regional and European Union (E.U) markets
• Development of private irrigation facilities
Technological and Supporting Services
• Processing machine manufacturers to supply cold chain equipment
• Companies to provide installation of cold chain equipment
• Companies to train manufacturers in packaging and packaging technology
• Companies to train producers in the use of food processing technology
• Machine manufacturers to establish hatcheries for day-old chicks
• Processing machine manufacturers to supply processing plants
• Suppliers and financiers of factory building technology
Marketing and Distribution
• Companies to provide post-production services (transport, packaging, coldvans)
• Companies to provide distribution of improved seeds, planting materials and agrochemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides)
• Companies to market processed foods in international markets.
Incentives to the sector may apply under the following provisions:
• There is custom duty exemption for agricultural and industrial plant, machinery and equipment imported for investment purposes
• Listed companies enjoy corporate tax of 25% and newly listed companies enjoy 25% corporate tax for the first three years
• Location Incentives (tax rebate) for manufacturing industries located in the regional capitals.