Ban on vegetable exports affecting Ghana’s economy.
Minister for Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna says the temporary ban on some Ghanaian vegetables by the European Union is having a devastating effect on Ghana's economy.
According to him, the ban which took effect in September 2015 has affected foreign exchange inflows, income for farmers and employment for the teeming youth.
Alhaji Limuna revealed this at the launch of the 2016 Vegetable Sector Business Opportunities Report in Accra.
The report is an initiative of GhanaVeg supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which aims at enhancing commercial agriculture in Ghana.
The report provided in-depth analyses of the domestic vegetable sector; an analysis for private extension services as well as business cases for a medium-sized professional export farm.
It also highlighted the emerging certification scheme, Ghana Green Label which focuses on reducing food safety risks in the local market.
Commenting on best practices, the Agric Minister said, government is collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure responsibility on the part of farmers in vegetable production to avoid further bans of their products on the world market.
He noted that, the exercise of safe, sound and responsible practices in the cultivation of vegetables is the only way to guarantee sustainability of the vegetable values chain.
Alhaji Limuna said steps to secure a reversal of the ban on vegetable export is far advanced and is confident farmers would be given the green light to export soon.
Also, Acting Ambassador of Netherlands to Ghana, Caecilia Wijgers said "with this new report we expect that all vegetable companies have the information required to expand and innovate their business".
The event was also used the introduce the GhanaVeg E-Learning Portal to the over 150 vegetable sector professionals who attended the programme.
The portal provides comprehensive and practical information on crop protection and soil fertility management. It will further support the training of 60 GhanaVeg Super Trainers currently receiving intensive agronomic courses.
For his part, the Program leader of GhanaVeg, Joep van den Broek stressed on the importance of the Agronimic Modules.
"We want to scale up our activities so that most commercial vegetable farmers are reached by these modules".
He revealed that, GhanaVeg supports large number of agro-input companies and outgrower schemes to increase training to their farmers because "we believe that Ghana is ready for a demand driven commercial vegetable extension service".
Joep van den Broek underscored the need for all stakeholers in the agric sector 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 growth in the sector.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)