Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, has called on the Private Sector to partner the Parks and Gardens Department to encourage the harnessing of the native flora and fauna for national development and improved livelihoods.

She said the partnership would promote environmental enhancement through intensive production, marketing and consumption of floricultural horticultural products produced locally for export as well as accelerating livelihood empowerment of the teaming youth.

“To achieve this laudable goal will require strenuous efforts by all stakeholders, including my Ministry and the agencies concerned to come up with the relevant policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, standards and strategies as well as developing the road map for implementation for sustainable garden and flower industries.”, she said.

Hajia Mahama made the call in a speech read on her behalf at 2017 Garden and Flower Show Conference held at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra, on the theme: “Flowering Ghana For Environmental Conservation, Health, Wealth And Beauty.”
The Conference formed part of activities to mark the Fifth Edition of the Garden and Flower Show organised annually by Stratcomm Africa, an event management organisation.

It aims to celebrate Ghana’s unique flora and fauna while pointing to the job creation and income generation opportunities inherent in them for livelihood enhancement and national development.

Hajia Mahama said according to the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS), the economic importance of the floricultural sector had been increasing in many countries, and international market has rapidly expanded.

She said cut flowers represented the largest segment of the industry followed by flowering pot plants, trees and nursery crops, flower bulbs and other propagation materials.

“Cut flower market in Western Europe exceeds 12 billion dollars in sales followed by the United States with 6.9 billion and Japan with 7.8 billion dollars in sales according to ISHS.

“Of this, the Netherlands contributes nearly 60 per cent of world flower export followed by Colombia, Italy and Israel as major exporters.

“In Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe were among the major producers of cut flowers with Kenya contributing five per cent of the world exports in 2006.

“In 2010 Ghana’s export of floricultural products to the Europe Union was just a little an over 273,659 metric tonnes worth 843, 808 US Dollars’’, Hajia Mahama said.

She urged the private sector to advantage of government’s policy of planting for food and jobs and produce floricultural products such as ginger, lilies, heliconia spp+, foliage plant, among others that Ghana has a competitive advantage into creating wealth and jobs for the teaming youth of the country.

The Sector Minister commended Stratcomm Africa and partners for the show and called for the support of all to ensure its sustainability.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh