Management of GhanaVeg Programme which seeks to improve and sustain vegetable productivity in Ghana, an initiative supported by the Netherlands Embassy, has rewarded seven agro-based companies in the “GhanaVeg Awards” in Accra.
The awardees are: A.B Farms – Most Sustainable Business; Lubok Farms – Most Vibrant and Growing Business; Kukobilo Nasia Farms – Most Inclusive Business; Eden Tree Limited – Best Business Innovation; Tikola Limited – Best New Product (Domestic), Joekopan Enterprise – Best New Product (Export) and Fruit Master – Best Booth at the Trade Fair.
The awards were held as part of a three-day Fruit and Vegetable Fair and a Business Platform meeting to discuss agronomic issues and the roadmap for pest reduction in Ghana’s Vegetable export sector.
The award was to acknowledge and complement forerunners and companies which have contributed to and promoted vegetable growth in the country.
The main criteria for the awards were growth, innovation, inclusiveness and sustainability.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, commended the GhanaVeg team and the Netherlands Government for their continuous support to promote vegetable growth and consumption in the country.
He said government was doing a lot to address the challenges that came with the ban of vegetable export to the EU market.
He said the ban was self-inflicted and stakeholders should take responsibility of some of the things that went wrong.
Dr Akoto said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with support from the University of Ghana, were reorienting the whole system to have a sustained structure.
He appealed to stakeholders to assist in addressing the issues by allowing their products to be inspected at the farm gate before exports.
Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said he was impressed with government making agriculture the heart of its economy.
He said the Dutch Government was proud to be a partner to the Government of Ghana in developing and growing together.
He congratulated all farmers and entrepreneurs who have contributed to the growth of the horticultural sector of the Ghanaian economy adding “Holland and Ghana horticulture are growing together.”
Mr Joep den Broek, the GhanaVeg Programme Leader, said the horticulture sector was steadily gaining ground with an increase in productivity and income at the farmer level.
“We at GhanaVeg are optimistic that this trade mission will further contribute to the increasing in fruits and vegetables made in Ghana and then gradually exports will also increase again,” he said.
An 11-member trade mission from the Netherlands horticulture sector is in Ghana to explore business and investment opportunities and establish a network with government, knowledge institutes and the private sector.
Its activities coincided with a fair on the theme: “Fruits and Vegetables made in Ghana,” which brought together 50 Ghanaian companies from the vegetable value chain.