Project Update: HBP Tamale Sensitization Workshop


Project Update: HBP Tamale Sensitization Workshop

On Thursday, the 2nd of March, the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP) core team and some staff of GNBCC, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN), organized and participated in a sensitization workshop in Tamale. The workshop, the fourth in a series organized by the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP), aimed to solicit the views of sector players in the northern sector on the platform's formation and activities.

Giving the opening remarks, Bram van Elmer Opijnen, the First Secretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, outlined the policy direction of the Embassy and their plans to support the horticulture sector in Ghana. He explained their ongoing plans to work with agriculture colleges to support knowledge transfer between Ghana and the Netherlands. He further elaborated on the need for collaboration within the sector to reduce the importation of products such as onions, tomatoes, and other essentials imported in volumes from neighboring countries. He called on all stakeholders in the Horticulture value chain to emulate the achievements of the Netherlands as a country. The Netherlands, despite being less than three times the size of Ghana, is considered the second-largest producer of agricultural products globally. He called for collaboration through the HBP to enable everyone to work together to overcome barriers that hinder the development of the Horticulture Sector.

Mr. Tjalling Wiarda, the General Manager of the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), gave a brief background leading to the formation of the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP). He mentioned that the HBP was formulated from previous projects such as GhanaVeg, later known as Hortifresh. The objective of the platform is to serve as an umbrella body to bring all sector players together and ensure coordination and organization of networking and business activities that impact the sector.

Madam Catherine Krobo Eduei, the MD of Eden Tree, who also doubles as the chairperson of the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP), highlighted the need for a business platform. According to Madam Catherine, the closure of GhanaVeg and Hortifresh projects created a vacuum in the sector, necessitating an organization to step in and ensure the continuity of sector activities. The HBP, which does not replace any existing groups, aims to be a sustainable and self-reliant membership group that will ensure the organization of activities that are in the interest of sector players. The platform will consider aspects of membership, financial sustainability, prioritized member-focused activities, and formulate key performance indicators (KPIs) to move the sector forward.

Mr. Anthony Tamakloe, the Executive Secretary of Green Label Ghana and also the Deputy Chairperson of the HBP, indicated that the platform would be a tool for policy dialogue by bringing all sector players on board. The platform will organize trade missions, support training and capacity building for members and their staff, and work with members to access funds and markets for their products.

Holland GreenTech, one of HBP's core members, also gave a presentation on their ongoing activities, including the training of students on good agronomical practices at Kwadaso College of Agriculture and Damango College. Shared by Miss Linsey Schwidder from the University of Delft in the Netherlands, this knowledge exchange between Ghana and the Netherlands will have a long-term impact on the sector.

Mr. Mahama Shaibu Jeduah, from East West Seeds spoke on the demand creation for farm inputs from East West Seeds, talked about their demonstration farms and how this knowledge transfer program is providing a platform for farmers to learn good farming practices and access good seeds.

The Project Manager for the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP), who also serves as the secretary for the HBP core team, Mr. Barnabas K. Apom, gave a brief update on the platform's activities since the idea for its setup early last year. According to Barnabas, the strategy document for setting up the business platform was released early February 2023. After the strategy document recommended the formation of the platform, a team of core horticulture sector members was put together to discuss and come up with modalities for the platform's formation. The core team, consisting of notable organizations in horticulture such as Eden Tree, Green Label Ghana, AB Farms, African Tiger Holdings, Abukay Cuisine, East West Seeds, and Holland Green, suggested the first activity: organizing sensitization workshops across the country to gather views and seek the interest of members in joining the platform. After workshops in Accra, Kumasi, and Ho, the number of companies interested in the platform stands at 193. The sensitization also enables members to define the platform's objectives and operation. Following feedback from members, the platform has been legally registered, a consultation formulated and the first plan of activities for 2024 also drafted for implementation.

The objectives of the HBP have been narrowed down to six (6) objectives that form the basis for the formulated activities. The key objectives of the HBP are: (1) Promote the business interests of its members, (2) Bring all sector players together and amplify their activities in the sector, (3) Explore potential international business opportunities through partnerships and trade-related activities, (4) Create a network of buyers, agents, suppliers, and key government contacts in Ghana and the Netherlands, (5) Be a platform that explores avenues to ensure market access to products and services for the horticulture sector, and (6) Develop and promote common interests, friendships, and business networking between members and other partners.

Based on these objectives, a series of activities for the year 2024 have been formulated and will be shared with members who signed up to the platform. He encouraged SMEs within the horticulture sector to sign up for the platform and join the community.  


Please click here to join the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP) This will give us the opportunity to keep you updated about our plan of activities for the year and other matters.

All those who signed up to the platform will be updated on regular bases using the email they will share.

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