The horticulture sector in Ghana is beaming with life as HortiFresh opens its maiden edition of the Fruit and Vegetable fair.
The fair aims at providing a platform for trade promotion in the horticulture sector and to sensitize the general public about horticulture activities in the country.
The fair was officially opened at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel by the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture responsible for horticulture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, and the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker.
This year’s fair is under the theme “Promoting Quality Fruits and Vegetables for a Competitive Domestic and Export Market”.
The theme resonates with HortiFresh’s mission to develop an internationally competitive and sustainable fruit and vegetable sector in Ghana.
The 4-day event that runs from Tuesday 2nd July till Friday 5th July includes activities like seminars, a business platform meeting and exhibition awards.
Speaking at the official opening, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker indicated that “the fair shows the Netherlands commitment to promote agriculture through private sector investment; gradually moving from Aid to Trade”.
He was impressed by the number of new companies that the sector has attracted and the number of new products and services that are now available.
Mr Strikker encouraged the companies to add value to their products and meet international standards while congratulating the efforts of participants for this year’s event.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture Kennedy Osei Nyarko indicated the government’s determination to pursue its trade and development agenda through the launching of the Planting for Food and Jobs. In realizing this agenda is the most recent initiative that was launched which is the Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD) which seeks to create a sustainable raw material base to boost its decentralized industrialization drive as envisaged under the ‘One-District, One-Factory’ initiative.
This year’s event brings together 70 exhibitors from all areas of the horticulture sector.
The Fruit and Vegetable Fair is an annual event that provides a platform for trade promotion within the horticulture sector.
This helps create market opportunities for these businesses and generate partnerships as well as sensitize the general public about horticulture sector activities.
HortiFresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which has prioritized commercial agriculture in its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade.
The programme’s mission is to establish “a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food and nutrition security” in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The programme aims to reach 15,000 farmers and increase their productivity by 20% by 2021.
The HortiFresh programme consists of two components: fruits and vegetables.
In Ghana, attention is being given to the fruit and vegetable sectors while focusing on other regional fruit supply chain dimensions in the surrounding countries like Ivory Coast.
The objectives include improving productivity in the vegetable sector; facilitating more efficient markets, including linking vegetable producers and other value chain operators with the Dutch private sector; improving the business climate and further professionalizing the value chain for vegetable production and consumption in Africa.
The programme succeeds the GhanaVeg programme that was successfully implemented between 2013 and 2017.