GHANA - Management of GhanaVeg, which seeks to improve and sustain vegetable productivity in Ghana, has launched the 2016 Ghana Vegetable Sector Business Opportunities Report at its Business platform meeting in Accra.
The report provided in-depth analyses of the domestic vegetable sector; an analyses for private extension services, as well as business case for a medium-size and a professional export farms.
It also shed light on how to combat the recent phytosanity problem, especially related to the false codling moth and white fly.
The event was on the theme: “Getting the Basics Right - Agronomic Practices and Private Extension.”
Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, launching the report, commended the efforts of GhanaVeg and its partners for their application of world-class agronomic practices in the sector.
He said the exercise of safe, sound and responsible practices in the cultivation of vegetable was to a large extent the only way to guarantee sustainability of the vegetable value-chain.
The Minister said government, through MOFA, intended to continue to collaborate with key stakeholders within the industry to ensure responsibility.
He said it was the inability of farmers to handle the basics that landed the country into the temporary freeze on some selected vegetable for export into the EU market.
“Much has been lost in terms of foreign exchange inflows, income for farmers and employment for the teaming youth,” he said.
Alhaji Limuna said the Ministry’s collaboration with GhanaVeg and other partners in the development of the Green Label initiative would improve good agriculture practices and gave the assurance of the safety of vegetables and other food crops to the consuming public.
He said the private sectors’ participation was urgently required to anchor the robust domestic and international markets that should soon emerge from the confluence of efforts being applied.
Ms Cecilia Wijgers, the Acting Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said with the new report, stakeholders expected that vegetable companies would have the required information to expand their businesses.
She said while the first report focused more on the export of vegetables, the current report paid much attention to post-harvest innovations.
“The report proposes options for fresh delivery systems that bring quality vegetable closer to the consumers,” she said.
Mr Joep Van de Broek, the GhanaVeg Programme Leader, said: “We want to scale up our activities so that most commercial vegetable farmers are reached by our new modules.”
He said GhanaVeg had supported a large number of agro-input companies and out-growers schemes to increase training for their farmers.
“We believe that Ghana is ready for a demand driven commercial vegetable extension service,” he said.
He encouraged stakeholders to apply for GhanaVeg funds in the area of private extension, innovation, irrigation and protected horticulture among other things.
The Business platform, which was part of a quarterly series of meetings, was attended by over 150 vegetable sector professionals.