Plans are underway to establish the first ever Horticulture Development Authority in Ghana.
This will help develop a formidable voice for actors in the agric subsector as well as harness the export potential of fruits and vegetables to the EU market.
The authority is being established by government in collaboration with HortiFresh West Africa – a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
A Deputy Director at the Department of Crop Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Solomon Ansah made this known at the Close Out Event and Report Launch of HortiFresh.
“Adoption of research results and the certification and financing of more than 30 Small and Medium-scaled Enterprises, the programme has impacted positively in people’s lives through the creation of sustainable livelihoods, improved access to inputs, finance, technical support and access to market”, he said.
Dr. Ansah added, “Some key outputs of our joint collaboration includes the development of onion, mango, tomato and peri-urban clusters as well as preparatory works towards the formation of the Horticulture Development Authority.”
Meanwhile, Programme Manager of HortiFresh West Africa, Sheila Assibey-Yeboah has expressed optimism that with the support from her outfit, the sector is better-positioned to improve its yields as well as meet the EU’s expectations.
“You’ll see a lot of linkages both domestic and international occurring; more connections within value and supply chains have been worked together and many business deals have been brokered and really this is a kind of remarkable peer-to-peer strategy that we hope will continue after we leave and it has indeed been a pleasant learning curve for all of us”, she said.
The HortiFresh West Africa programme is closing on a high note after eight and a half years with some impressive results which include: improving the knowledge and income of over 15,000 family farms; the creation of over 3,000 jobs; adoption of research results and the certification and financing of more than 30 SMEs.
Coordinator for HortiFresh programme at the Wageningen Centre ffor Development Innovation, Netherlands, Dr. Irene Koomen said the programme sought to provide opportunities for inclusive, health and sustainable food systems as part of the Sustainable Development Goal 2.
The HortiFresh Close Out Event and Report Launch was under the theme, “Sustaining Gains made for a Competitive Horticulture Sector.”
The event was climaxed with a report on Greenhouse Cucumber and Tomato Production.
Excerpts of the report were highlighted and subsequently handed to the Greenhouse Growers Association.