Dr Solomon Ansah
Plans are underway to establish the first ever Horticulture Development Authority in Ghana.
This will help develop a formidable voice for actors in the agricultural sub-sector and harness the export potential of fruit and vegetables to the EU market.
The authority is set up by the government in collaboration with HortiFresh West Africa – a program supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Dr. Solomon Ansah, Deputy Director of the Department of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, made this known during the closing event and launch of the HortiFresh report.
“Adopting research results and certifying and funding more than 30 small and medium-sized enterprises, the program has had a positive impact on people’s lives through the creation of sustainable livelihoods, improved ‘access to inputs, finance, technical support and market access,’ he said.
Dr Ansah added: “Some key results of our joint collaboration include the development of onion, mango, tomato and peri-urban clusters as well as preparatory work for the formation of the Horticulture Development Authority. “.
Meanwhile, HortiFresh West Africa program manager Sheila Assibey-Yeboah expressed optimism that with the support of her team, the sector is better placed to improve yields and meet EU expectations. .
“You will see many national and international connections happening; more connections within the value and supply chains have been worked together and many business transactions have been brokered and it’s really a kind of remarkable peer-to-peer strategy that we hope will continue after our departure and it has indeed been a nice learning curve for all of us,” she said.
The HortiFresh West Africa program ends on a high note after eight and a half years with impressive results, including: improved knowledge and incomes for more than 15,000 family farms; the creation of more than 3,000 jobs; the adoption of research results and the certification and financing of more than 30 SMEs.
Coordinator of the HortiFresh program at the Wageningen Center for Development Innovation, the Netherlands, Dr Irene Koomen said the program seeks to provide opportunities for inclusive, healthy and sustainable food systems as part of Sustainable Development Goal 2.
The HortiFresh closing event and report launch was under the theme “Sustaining the gains made for a competitive horticultural sector”.
The event culminated with a report on the production of greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes.
Excerpts from the report were highlighted and later given to the Greenhouse Growers Association.