Accra, May 18, GNA- Ghana’s non-traditional export earnings fell 2. 3 per cent to 2.463 billion dollars in 2016 compared with 2.522 billion dollars in 2015.
Mr Eric Twum, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA), who announced this at the launch of the 2016 Non-Traditional Export (NTE) Statistics in Accra, said the decline in the export of processed cocoa products led to the dip in earnings.
Processed cocoa products contribution fell by 16 per cent from $643.3 million in 2015 to $542.3 million in 2016 from January to December.
Besides, the ban on vegetable exports to the European Union market within the year also contributed to the decline.
Mr Twum said the Handicraft sub-sector, which stagnated around $4 million however experienced an increase of 22 per cent to $5.22 million on account of higher earnings from hides and skins and jewellery exports.
The processed and semi-processed sub-sector amounted to $2.08 billion, a fall of 1.6 per cent compared to $2.12 billion earned in 2015 as result of decline in the performance of cocoa products.
Despite the fall, the sub-sector still remained the major NTE sub-sector with a contribution of 84.72 per cent.
Cocoa paste, cocoa butter, canned tuna, plastic products, and lubricating oil are among the ten leading products in the processed and semi-processed products.
Mr Twum said Export Earnings from the Agricultural sub-sector in 2016 amounted to $371.14 million compared to $396.91 million earned in 2015, bringing the sub-sector contribution to 15.07 per cent to the total NTE earnings in 2016.
The 10 leading agricultural products include; Cashew Nuts, Banana, and Medicinal Plants, Fresh or Chilled Tunas and Shea nuts.
Mr Twum said the NTEs were exported to 130 countries during the year under review.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and European markets remained the leading markets for Ghana’s NTE products.
ECOWAS was the top performer absorbing 37.25 per cent of the products, while the European Union had 32.33 per cent.
Other African countries absorbed 2.14 per cent, developed Countries 8.33 per cent and other countries 19.94 per cent.
In the ECOWAS region Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire, are among the top ten NTE markets in the (ECOWAS).
The 10 leading EU destinations include; the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Spain and Belgium.
Overall, the 10 leading NTE Markets included Burkina Faso, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Netherlands, Togo, Nigeria and France.
Mr Twum said the performance called for aggressive export promotion and development by GEPA in collaboration with other key export stakeholders.
He said Ghana needed to re-double her efforts in reaching out to the ECOWAS markets, stressing that a targeted support for the development and promotion exports was key to achieving the mandate of GEPA.
Ms Gifty Klenam said GEPA had set-up a cashew department to oversee the development of the crop and increase its contribution to the NTEs.