Revenue generated from the export of handicraft from the country dipped from $ 4.09 million in 2012 to $ 2.4 million in 2013.
The General Manager of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr Stephen K. Normeshie, who disclosed this at a two-day workshop at Aburi on Tuesday, attributed the decline to lack of investment in the products and design development by producers of the handicraft.
“The GEPA has recognised the need to train players in the sector to enable them to improve their designs to make them attractive to compete on the world market.”
That, he said, was essential to enable Ghanaian producers to understand the importance of product design and the need to invest in that area.
To promote Ghanaian handicraft, he said, GEPA was collaborating with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to refurbish the Aburi Craft Showroom to make it more functional.
He also said a National Export Strategy launched in August 2013 targeted a $5 billion export earning by 2017 and “handicraft is one of the products to be developed to meet that target.”
For his part, the President of the Aburi Industrial Center, Mr Erasmus Philips Ahorlu, appealed to the government to support the handicraft industry.
He said the industry needed to build the capacity of the producers to enable them make quality products that could meet standards at the international level.
Mr Ahorlu stated that the sector needed to be segmented as “currently one person does the carving, finishing, marketing and sales which are supposed to be handled separately.”