Ghana to the increase international market share in horticulture

Ho, Jan. 20, GNA – The government is adopting an integrated approach to raise the cultivation of horticultural products for the booming international market.
The programme would include farmers’ access to technology, improved seeds and also enhance the capacity of the industry to conform to international standards and regulations.
Mr Ernest Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, said this in a speech read for him at the launch of the Export Marketing and Quality Awareness Project (EMQAP) in Ho on Friday.
He said post harvest infrastructure, including those related to export processes, was also being improved.
Mr Debrah said under the Horticulture Exports Industry Initiative (HEII), which is one of the new initiatives of the Agriculture Services Sub sector Investment Project (AgSSIP), shed nine at the Tema port was being refurbished into an ultra modern fruit terminal complete with cold storage facilities.
He said that facility, which was about 80 percent complete, would be commissioned by March.
Mr Debrah said over 3 million MD2 pineapple planting materials worth over a million dollars had been distributed to over 70 small-scale farmer groups to go into rapid pineapple sucker multiplication to help exporters shift to the preferred MD2 variant.
He said a 400,000-dollar support for 2,000 mango out-growers in the Northern Region to crop 2,000 acres was also going on.
The Minister said under the 28.65 million dollar EMQAP project to be implemented in the country’s horticultural belt of the Greater-Accra, Central, Eastern and Volta regions, one demonstration farm will be established in each implementing region to train farmers in the application of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
He said 407 kilometers of feeder roads in the horticultural belt would be rehabilitated to make them motorable all year round.
Mr Mawuli Agboka, EMQAP Project Coordinator, said the project, with 90 per cent funding by the African Development Bank and 10 per cent by government of Ghana, was to address specific constraints which currently limit the development of the horticultural sector.
He said strategies include the establishment of a database on market information and consumer preferences for dissemination to producers and exporters.
Mr Agboka said total land areas in the four regions covered under the project was 53,000 square kilometers, representing 22 per cent of total land area of Ghana.
He said about 13,502 rural households or 81,012 people would benefit directly from the project.
GNA
20 Jan 07

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