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Fact Check: Ghana is not the second largest producer of Cassava in Africa

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Claim: News reports claim Ghana is the second-largest producer of Cassava in Africa.

False. Ghana is the third-largest producer of cassava in Africa, not the second. 

Full Text:

According to news reports “Ghana is the second-largest producer of cassava in Africa.” The claim, published here and here, was earlier published on myjoyonline.com on the 22nd of May 2021 but has since been updated.

Source: myjoyonline.com

Source: Myjoyonline.com

According to the news reports, the claim was made at a conference on financial and technological support for processing cassava in Kumasi.

At the event, stakeholders resolved that it is time the country added value to cassava through agricultural industrialization in order to boost its production.

Verification

Cassava is a major crop in the farming systems of Ghana. According to the Global Cassava Processing Market Report 2019, the majority of the population of Africa, Latin America, and Asia depend on cassava for sustenance as it provides food as well as occupation to farmers and traders.

But what’s Ghana’s position in the production of cassava in Africa?

Since the source of the claim was not stated in the story, Dubawa reached out to the journalist who wrote the story published on myjoyonline.com. Our checks revealed that a freelance journalist, Mahmud Mohmmed-Nurudeen, was the reporter of the story. 

An email was sent to him to seek clarity on the claim. 

On WhatsApp, he sent the link to the original video of the news story on YouTube. Dubawa assessed the video and revealed that the claim was made by the Head of Trade in Services and Manufactures at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Banda Abdallah Khalifah, during a conference on financial and technological support for processing cassava in Kumasi.  

“…Another interesting statistics that we would want to know, Ghana is one of the largest producers of cassava in the world, not even in Africa… in 2019, we produced about 22 million metric tonnes of cassava – 22 million metric tonnes. Thailand is the largest producer, followed by other countries. In Africa, Nigeria is the largest, Ghana is the second largest producer of cassava fresh cassava in Africa…,” Mr Khalifah said in the video (3:35-4:30).

In response to a phone call after seeking clarification Mr Khalifah revealed that “the claim was made using statistics of either 2017 or 2018.” 

But he confirmed that “currently, Ghana is the third-largest producer of Cassava in Africa with Nigeria being the first.”

Globally, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) most recent data, the ten largest cassava producing countries are Nigeria, Thailand, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Ghana, Angola, Vietnam, India, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Deducing from the ten cassava producers in the world, in Africa, the five major cassava producing countries include Nigeria (42,592,025.35 mt), the Democratic Republic of Congo (22,018,779 mt), Ghana (12,113,237.42 mt), Angola (7,806,487.15 mt), and United Republic of Tanzania (5,507,582.62 mt).

According to the most recent data on Tridge, a global sourcing hub that puts together data and networks to make cross-border trade happen, Ghana is the third-largest producer of cassava in Africa.

The World Cassava Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights report in 2021 also revealed that the countries with the highest volumes of cassava production in 2020 were Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, Ghana, Brazil, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and Angola.

Conclusion

Ghana indeed is one of the largest cassava producers in Africa, but it is the third in Africa.

This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking. 

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