The 2016 Ghana Vegetable Sector Business Opportunities Report was launched at the GhanaVeg Business Platform Meeting on 22nd March.
The first copy of the report was handed over to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, by the Netherlands Acting Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Caecilia Wijgers during a ceremony at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel.
The report presents key business cases and strategies for increasing vegetable production and sales in the domestic and export markets.
The 2016 Vegetable Sector Business Opportunities report provides in-depth analyses of the domestic vegetable sector; an analysis for private extension services; as well as a business cases for a medium-sized, professional export farm. The report also sheds light on how to combat the current phytosanitary problems, especially related to the False Codling Moth (FCM) and White Fly which were, to a large extent, responsible for the export ban onchilies and gourds.
Also featured in the report is the emerging certification scheme, Ghana Green Label, which focuses on reducing food safety risks in the local market. The scheme ensures that the activities of vegetable producers are carried out in an environmentally responsive and sustainable manner. This certification is targeted at the local Ghanaian market, but also tries to provide a platform for producers to enroll in other global certifications schemes such as Global GAP.
Speaking at the 11th Business Platform Meeting themed Getting the Basics Right – Agronomic Practices and Private Extension, the Netherlands Acting Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Caecilia Wijgers, emphasized that “with this new report we expect that all vegetable companies have the information required to expand and innovate their business”.
The report is the second in a series and focuses on key business opportunities in Ghana’s vegetables sector.
“While the first report focused more on the export vegetables sector, the current report pays much attention to post-harvest innovations; like simple solutions for cold storage and packaging”. Also, the report proposes options for fresh delivery systems that bring quality vegetables closer to the consumers.
Another significant activity that took place during the event was the introduction of the GhanaVeg E-Learning Portal. This portal hosts Agronomic Training Modules for vegetable farmers and agronomists. Currently, the portal hosts two units which provide comprehensive and practical information on crop protection and soil fertility management. The modules will further support the training of 60 GhanaVeg Super Trainers, who are receiving intensive agronomic courses. The GhanaVeg Super Trainers will in turn train at least 50 farmers, either through their involvement in outgrower schemes, vegetable associations, extension services or the input packages they supply.
Touching on the essence of the Agronomic Modules, Mr. Joep van den Broek, the GhanaVeg Program Leader, said “we want to scale up our activities, so that most commercial vegetable farmers are reached by these modules. Already, we support a large number of agro-input companies and outgrower schemes to increase training to their farmers; and we believe that Ghana is ready for a demand driven commercial vegetable extension service. It is exactly through that approach of dedicated companies that go the extra mile, combined with backstopping from our e-learning modules, that scale and impact can be achieved”.
He used the opportunity to encourage all stakeholders to apply for the GhanaVeg funds in the areas of private extension, innovative irrigation, protected horticulture, chain integration and R&D for input supply, to enhance the growth in the sector.
The Business Platform was attended by around 150 vegetable sector professionals and is part of a quarterly series of meetings. The Platform Meetings discuss on innovative business opportunities, challenges in the business climate and they try to stimulate new business partnerships between companies.
GhanaVeg is an initiative supported by the Netherlands Embassy. It is implemented by Wageningen UR, IFDC and NABC. The 3-monthly GhanaVeg Business Platform Meetings bring together the leading vegetable sector companies of Ghana and government representatives. The Platform meetings discuss on innovative business opportunities, challenges in the business climate and they try to stimulate new business partnerships between companies.