The 24th Ghana International Trade Fair is currently underway in Tamale, the Northern Region capital, with over 600 exhibitors taking pavilions to showcase their various products.
The 11-day fair commenced last week Thursday and is expected to end on Sunday, March 8, 2020. With the theme ‘Value Addition, Trading Globally’, the fair seeks to promote value-added products and services, showcase the potential of many small-scale businesses as well expose local businesses to the international market.
The fair, which is organised by the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited (GTFC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), is aimed at ensuring local producers add value to their products and services. This is in line with government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ policy.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Saturday, the Minister of State in Charge of Agriculture at the Presidency, Dr. Gyeile Nurah, said government is committed to transforming Ghana’s economy with the introduction of programmes to support local industries.
“Increasing farmers’ access to markets is a top priority for government, and for that matter, it will continue working to increase producers’ access to the local and international markets,” he said.
He called on investors to help support local industries grow their businesses, which in turn will curb the country’s poverty and unemployment rates. He also urged the local producers to take advantage of government’s initiatives and programmes to increase production in order to meet market demands.
The Northern Region Minister, Salifu Saeed, reiterated the need for value addition, saying: “If we do not add value to our products we cannot market them on the international market”. He said value addition is necessary to ensure there are higher returns for local produce.
He also urged chiefs to support the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ initiative by collaborating with government to ensure there is value addition on products which are produced in their communities.
Chief Executive Officer of the GTFC, Dr. Agnes Adu, said the fair was held in Tamale for the second time due to potentials the North presents. It was thus an opportunity to showcase these potentials to the world.
She admonished business owners to take advantage of the fair and seek to improve on their operations. She added that they should take advantage of all resources available at the fair to further the fortunes of their businesses.