Orange Fruit Value-chain in Agricultural Sector of Ghana


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Agriculture in Ghana comprises several sectors and fruit production is one of the important sectors, providing income to farmers and contributing to Ghana’s GDP. Fruits are very important class of foods which supply human diet with various nutritive requirements including vitamins and minerals which are essential for normal body health and growth. Many hundreds of fruits, including fleshy fruits (like apple, kiwifruit, mango, peach, pear, and watermelon) are commercially valuable as human food, eaten fresh and as jams, marmalade and other preserves. Fruits are also used in manufactured foods (e. g. , cakes, cookies, ice cream, muffins, or yogurt) or beverages, such as fruit juices (e. g. , apple juice, grape juice, or orange juice). Sweet oranges as one of these fruits are usually consumed as fresh or juice and are a good source of vitamin C with high antioxidant potential (Codd et al. , 1972). Cultivation of citrus such as orange is a source of livelihood to many people in the rural areas as well as those involved in retailing the fruits in urban centres (Asare-Bediako et al. , 2013).

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The production of sweet oranges in Ghana is mainly for consumption as fresh fruit and/or juice in domestic and export markets. The export by the industry to the EU (2000-2013) made close to €562 million to Ghana’s economy (Eurostat, 2013). Ghana’s geographic position and climate makes it ideal to produce early maturing varieties of oranges which reach the target markets earlier than other competing producing countries. Ghana is one of the countries with the highest yield of oranges ranging from 300 – 400 thousand tonnes in addition to South Africa, Albania, Turkey and Indonesia (FAOSTAT, 2013). The concept of a value-chain which was popularised by Porter (1990) was first introduced by David and Goldberg in1957 (Armstrong et al. , 2014). The concept presents the input-output structure of supply chains as one which is composed of particular value-adding activities. Value-chain thinking starts from the basic and widely held assumption that the value of a finished product is decided by the final consumer and thus, the value chain is defined as the activities that add value to a product from basic raw materials to the final consumer. It therefore advocates a demand pull strategy where consumer value dictates the value attributed to activities along the chain rather than a supply-push approach. A broad approach of defining an orange fruit value-chain looks at the complex range of activities implemented by various actors (primary producers, processors, and traders, service providers) to bring a raw material through a chain to the point of sale of the final product (Neves, 1999; Coates et al. , 2011).

The orange fruit value-chain embraces different activities such as farming; harvesting; postharvest treatment and processing; marketing and retailing. Within these value-chain stages, there exist constraints that affect quality and storability of fruits. The end result from this line of thinking is that all components of the value-chain play a role in formulating and creating consumer value; therefore a weakness with one component has an adverse effect on the creation of value for the whole value-chain.

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