The European Union (EU), through the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) for Ghana project, has awarded a €7.2 million grant to two banana-producing companies, Golden Exotic limited and Volta River Estates limited.
BAM, is a support package for 10 banana-exporting countries from the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of states.
As part of the deal, a European Union (EU) delegation visited the country to ascertain how the process of work onsite.
The team, made up of dignitaries and European journalists toured the two banana exporting companies; Golden Exotic and Volta River Estates limited.
The initiative also followed records of dwindling figures in banana exports from Ghana to the European markets for some in recent times.
Banana is the most exported fruit in terms of volume and is ranked second after citrus fruit in terms of value. Last year, local producers in Ghana exported 62,000 tonnes of banana to the European market.
This is but a fraction of the over 5 million tonnes imported into the European market each year.
A major factor for the dwindling banana production is the spread of the Fusarium Wilt disease.
It is in this regard that the EU is assisting with 7.2 million Euros grant. Of the amount, €6 million has been allocated to the Golden Exotic Limited.
“It was due to deteriorating conditions in the EU market that the grant was provided. We are positive this will scale up export production once more”, said Peter Fischer, a member of the delegation.
Also, €700,000 out of the €7.2 million has been given to the Volta River Estates Limited, also a banana-producing company, to aid in a compost plant.
Volta River Estates Limited employs about 650 workers. Director of Agriculture at the Volta River Estates Limited, Anthony Kofi Blay tells disclosed that the grant will be of great benefit to the company.
“We have received a grant of about 700,000 Euros, the provision of vehicles, two trackers and a turner together with mats to cover the compost. These were given to us to help us scale up composting process.