Netherlands deepens support for vegetable industry

l   The Netherlands is working through GhanaVeg to spearheard healthy and quality vegetables.

l The Netherlands is working through GhanaVeg to spearheard healthy and quality vegetables.

The Netherlands has signaled its determination to streng-then support to Ghana in the area of commercial vegetable pro-duction to substantially increase the sector’s contribution to the economy.

Ms. Mariska Lammers of the Dutch Embassy in Accra, said the focus now was on the promotion and development of strong trade relations but not aid.

She said there were opportunities for trade and investment in vegetables between the two nations and these needed to be fully exploited.

Ms. Lammers said they were already working through GhanaVeg to spearhead healthy and quality vegetable farming and give a new orientation to farmers.

The goal, she said, is to establish a sustainable and internationally competitive sector that would bring in more returns.

The GhanaVeg project seeks to increase productivity, facilitate efficient markets, link farmers and other value chain operators to the Dutch private sector and improve the business climate.

Ms. Lammers was speaking at a business platform held in Kumasi to discuss vegetable sector partnerships, opportunities and new ways of doing business for key service providers, producers, processors, traders and wholesale/retailers and officials of public institutions, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).

The participants were drawn from the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions.

Ms. Lammers said they would continue to give every necessary assistance to the private sector and government’s institutions to enable the vegetables sector to achieve high performance.

Mr. Kwaku Minka Fordjour, Ashanti Regional Director of MOFA, said the GhanaVeg project provides the opportunity to improve linkages between farmers and businesses.

Mrs Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, Deputy Programme Leader of the Project, said it is targeting high-end domestic and international markets, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and exports. —GNA

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