Fruit, vegetable farmers must enhance intra-Africa trade’


Fruit, vegetable farmers must enhance intra-Africa trade’

THE Director of Crop Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Dr Solomon Gyan Ansah has rallied Ghanaian horticultural businesses to work together to “enhance intra-Africa commerce which will boost our economy and secure a substantial market share on the continent.”

Dr Ansah observed that, the fruit and vegetable sub-sector has been a game changer in the economies of countries that have gotten it right.

He made the remarks when he graced the opening of the 2023 Fruit and Vegetable Fair in the stead of the Deputy Minister of   MoFA (Crops) at the Department of Parks and Gardens in Accra.

This year’s exhibition, a three-day event is themed Harnessing the gains of the horticulture sector – with focus on the  Africa Continental Free Trade Area,’  and  under the aegis of Ghana Vegetables in partnership with the Horticulture Business Platform under Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council.

Dr Ansah charged horticultural businesses, saying “we must also get it right through collaborative efforts, increased business sector investment, and government policy direction. As a country, we must gain a deeper grasp of the dynamics of the expanding fruit and vegetable markets.”

The Director of Crop Services reminded Ghanaians that fruits and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and their sufficient daily consumption help prevent major diseases including cancers.

“ If we should meet the WHO/FAO recommended minimum consumption of different vegetables and fruits per person per day of 400g , that is 60% vegetables and  40% fruits for good health and wellbeing, what a market we would be creating for our industry,” he charged.

Dr Ansah lamented that currently, consumption of the different genders in Ghana was less than 100g per person per day with men and youth consuming far less when compared to women and children.

He revealed that under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) 2.0, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was implementing a plan to balance food consumption, export, and industrial requirements.

“Tomato,  pepper, and onion have been identified as key priority crops,” Dr Ansah added.

The plan, he indicated was to increase food security and resilience by ensuring all year-round production and preventing imports of commodities, but “the target set for these vegetables cannot be met without the participation of your members and industry stakeholders. It is an opportunity for your members and industry players to take part and benefit from the programme.”

President of Ghana Vegetables, Dr Felix Mawuli Kamassah said “a healthy workforce of a nation largely depends on the consumption of fruits and vegetables,” stressing the importance of Ghanaians consuming fruits and vegetables and the benefits there in.

He observed that Ghana vegetables and the various operators ‘commitment to promoting Fruits and Vegetables “has never been more evident than in the vibrant array of Fruits and Vegetables showcased here.”

The three-day fair has pooled  food producers,  agro-input distributors, transporters,  financial institutions,  cold storage service providers, exporters, importers, insurance service providers and  aggregators of fresh fruit and vegetable, looking to connect with the right actors and stakeholders in the horticultural sector to patronise the fair in their numbers .Other partners include the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Green Label Ghana, Ghana Association of Vegetable Exporters and the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana.

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