The land and climate in Central Region support the cultivation of both food and cash crops. These include oil palm, rubber cocoa, rice, plantain, banana, yam, cocoayams, coconut, cassava, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and pineapple. The Central Regional Coordinating Council encourages investment in food production, especially the development of crops that thrive in the local environment like cassava, rice and plantain. Investment potential in this sector includes the development, production and marketing of these agricultural resources.
Agriculture plays a key role in the economy of the region, employing over 65% of the economically active population. Over 80% of the region's land is suitable for farming and about 50% of the cultivable land is currently under cultivation. Major industrial crops grown include cocoa, oil palm, citrus, pineapple, cassava, sugarcane and maize.
Cassava is a starchy food produced widely in the region. It is grown as food in all Districts of the Region. Major growing Districts include Awutu Senya, Efutu Municipality, Upper Denkyira East Municipality, Agona West, Agona East, Mfantseman Municipal and Assin South district.
The Region produces approximately 1,537,160 metric tons accounting for about 15.8 percent of total production in the country. Investments are required in the establishment of large scale Cassava plantations.
Investments are also welcome in the establishment of medium and large scale modern cassava processing industries to process raw cassava into chips, flour, gari/tapioca, animal feed and industrial starch for domestic and international markets. The Ayensu starch factory processes cassava into starch for export is located in the region.
Pineapple is an important crop for both the domestic as well as export markets. It can be consumed fresh as food supplements or processed into canned slices, solid packs, juice, fruit salads, alcohol and citric acid.
The major producing areas are in the Mfantseman, Awutu-Senya, Efutu, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem and Gomoa West and East Districts.
Investments are required in the cultivation of large-scale plantations to take care of rising exports and local processing industries. Investments are also required in the establishment of fruit processing plants in and around the major growing areas to meet both domestic and export markets.
Citrus refers to the family of fruits such as oranges tangerines, lemon and lime. In Central Region citrus is grown in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Twifo-Hemang-Lower-Denkyira, Assin South and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem districts. It is also grown in the Mfantseman and Agona districts as well as the Cape Coast metropolis.
Oranges can be consumed fresh as food supplement or processed into juices, jams, concentrates among others. Pectin could be extracted from citrus peel for food additive and conservation purposes.
Lime and lemon are used mainly for the preparation of refreshing drinks, in seasoning and garnishing of food. They are also used in the manufacture of commercial citric acid and citrate of lime in the making of cosmetics.
Investments are required in the cultivation of large scale plantations to take care of the rising exports and the local processing industries.
Investments are also required in the establishment of processing plants in and around the major growing areas to take advantage of the international, regional and domestic markets.
Beverage and Fruit Drinks
The fruit drink/ juice industry can be supported by the increased production of various crops like pineapple, banana, pawpaw, African mango, cocoa, maize and cocoanut. Such industries are as yet non-existent in Central Region. Opportunities exist for small, medium and large-scale investors in this industry.
Maize is an important staple used in a variety dishes in the Region. It also serves as an important raw material for manufacturing industries such as breweries, food processing factories and so on.
The crop is cultivated in nearly every part of the region on a largely subsistence basis. Major producing areas include Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, Twifo-Hemang-Lower-Denkyira, Assin South and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem districts.
Investments are required for large-scale cultivation of maize. Investments are also needed to process the region's maize into various food products - flour, flakes, oils, maize grits.
Recognizing the importance of oil palm industry government is committed to making the industry one of the new key drivers of economic growth and wealth creation.
Oil Palm is cultivated in the rain forest and deciduous agro ecological zones of the Region. Major producing districts are Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira, upper Denkyira East and West, Assin South and North, Cape Coast, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Aberem and Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa. Total land area under cultivation is approximately 29,000 acres.
Palm Oil and palm kernel oil derived from oil palm are used in several Ghanaian dishes as refined cooking oil and edible palm oil. Palm oil is also used for fats and margarine. They are also important raw materials for the production of laundry soaps, personal cosmetics, explosives, paints, oleo, chemical, specialty foods, pharmaceuticals etc.
Palm oil processing mills which would employ modern techniques for the commercial production of palm oil, palm kernel and kernel oil from the palm fruit is an important investment opportunity for any investor.
In some communities in Central Region at the moment, the traditional methods of boiling and pounding to extract oil, and manual cracking of the nut to obtain the kernel are mainly used. The old screw –type hand –press device is still in use in small mills in most communities. These processing methods obviously limits the large–scale production of palm oil. There is a great potential for investments in oil palm production as the mill's capacity needs of at least over 50,000 hectares could be satisfied by the capacity of the farmers in the region. There is a large potential market for exporting the processed oil palm products including palm oil (edible oil), palm kernel/kernel oil.
Also, oil palm will be lucrative to use as raw materials for the production of high demand products. Some of the attractive investment opportunities in the oil palm industry includes; the production of vegetable oil, detergents and soaps, personal refined washing liquids, refined cooking oil, fats and margarine, industrial oil and cosmetics etc Additionally, crushed kernel provides feed extract for fish and poultry farming none of such industries presently exist in Central Region despite the availability of large consumer markets for such products.
Central Region has a Coastline of 168km stretching from Nyanyano in the east to Komenda in the west. The region has the most suitable fishing area of the sea. An average of 100,000 metric tons of fish is caught in the region. This forms 25% of total fish output of the country.
Major species caught are small pelagic (sandinella, and anchovies), large pelagic (tuna, mackerel), squids/cuttle fish, sea breams (cassava) grouper, scads mackerel, burrito and thread fish. The major fishing communities include Elmina, Mumford, Apam, Komenda, Moree, Cape Coast, Biriwa, Anomabo, Senya Beraku, Winneba and Nyanyano.
Opportunities exist for investment in modern small and large scale fishing, cold storage and preservation facilities, production of ice, processing of fish and boat building. There are also opportunities for the export of exotic fish, construction of fishing harbor and aquaculture.
There is dearth of poultry products in Central Region, even in the face of sky-rocketing demand for eggs and chicken, which are basic sources of animal protein. At the moment, small scale poultry farmers supply poultry to the open market and catering businesses.
A great potential thus exists for the development of large-scale poultry farms in Central Region of Ghana. The few poultry farms which exist are smallholdings. Large-scale poultry farming to produce egg and broilers, turkey, feed production and marketing, would certainly be lucrative and economically worthwhile investments in the region.
Food Storage and Export
This offers the opportunity to store and preserve excess production, especially for seasonal crops that are perishable over short intervals of time but are in high demand for direct consumption and as raw material input in allied industries. In the fruiting periods of seasonal crops, waste is inevitable as farmer's race against time to dispose of their products. As much as this reduces threat economic valve of farmers produce, it also diminishes morale, puts a clamp on productivity and so affects the overall local food production industry.
The Central Regional Coordinating Council, in its resolve to join the international alliance against hunger, is interested in providing central storage facilities to cater for excess production in order to minimize losses by farmers. However, none is yet in place. Food storage and perseveration facilities would open up avenues for intense activity in crop production and increase the opportunities for exportation of crops such as plantain, banana, pineapple, orange and grains, which are readily available. With a steady source of electric power in the region, there are no peculiar or insurmountable challenges to this investment option.