The Netherlands has signalled its determination to strengthen support for Ghana in the area of commercial vegetable production to substantially increase the sector’s contribution to the economy.
Ms Mariska Lammers of the Dutch Embassy in Accra said the focus now is on the promotion and development of strong trade relations, but not aid.
She said there are opportunities for trade and investment in vegetables between the two nations, and these needed to be fully exploited.
Ms Lammers said they are 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 will bring in more returns.
The GhanaVeg project seeks to increase productivity, facilitate efficient markets — linking farmers and other value chain operators to the Dutch private sector and improving the business climate.
Ms Lammers was speaking at a business platform meeting 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 will continue giving every necessary assistance to private sector and government institutions to enable the vegetable sector to achieve high performances.
Mr. Kwaku Minka Fordjour, Ashanti Regional Director of MOFA, said the GhanaVeg project provides an opportunity to improve linkages between farmers and businesses.
Mrs. Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, Deputy Programme Leader of the Project, said it is targetting high-end domestic and international markets — supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and exports.