Some Ghanaian vegetable farmers have raised concerns about the impact of continuous post-harvest losses on their activities, largely due to the lack of storage facilities and processing centres to add value to their produce.
They said this was impeding their operations as they were unable to export to rake in more revenue.
The Executive Director of Agri Impact Consult, Dan Akwei, said Ghanaian vegetable farmers were losing money they could have accrued from the export of their produce due to the non-existence of mechanisms to add value to them.
He said this in an interview with Citi Business News on the sidelines of the 2nd Graduation of Youth in Greenhouse production at Berekusu in the Eastern Region.
“The thing is about seasonality. When you grow vegetables in the open field, there are times that you can grow and when the rainfall is very high it also becomes difficult to grow your vegetables. When you don’t have rainfall then you must have irrigation to also grow your vegetables,” he said.
The impact of the lack of processing facilities is severe especially during bumper harvests, as farmers are compelled to sell off their produce at relatively lower prices to avoid wastage and losses.
Mr. Akwei also believed that the relatively shorter lifespan of vegetables and some practices such as the non-usage of wholesome irrigation methods affects the quality of produce.
He therefore called for the adoption of greenhouse production technology to ensure improved yields.
“We’re all not happy with the way people use unhygienic water to irrigate our vegetables, and there are a lot of concerns these days that people buy vegetables and when they store for a few days in their homes it begins to go bad,” he said.
The graduates of the Youth in Greenhouse production are products from the University of Ghana, KNUST, UPSA and other notable tertiary institutions in the country.
The participants were taken through months of practical hands-on experience in greenhouse production technology.
The Executive Director of Agri Impact Consult, who expressed satisfaction about the project, challenged the beneficiaries to make an impact in the country’s agricultural sector with the knowledge they have acquired.
The Youth in Greenhouse is an initiative of Agri Impact Consult and Exim Bank.