Sam Jonah Highlights the Need for Government Investment in the Horticulture Sector

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Sam Jonah Highlights the Need for Government Investment in the Horticulture Sector

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Sam Jonah Highlights the Need for Government Investment in the Horticulture Sector

Sam Jonah Highlights the Need for Government Investment in the Horticulture Sector

THE Chancellor of the University of  Cape Coast (UCC), Sir Sam Jonah has called on government to prioritise the development of the horticulture sector by investing in infrastructure, research, and capacity building. 

He said such investments are crucial for reducing post-harvest losses, ensuring food safety, and enhancing the competitiveness of Ghana’s exports.

“Infrastructure, research, and capacity building are key areas where investment is needed. By doing so, we can reduce post-harvest losses, ensure food safety, and enhance the competitiveness of our exports,” he said.

Sir Jonah made the call at the launch of the Ghana Horticulture Expo 2024 organised by the Federation Association of Ghana Exporters (FAGE) in partnership with Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Fidelity bank and the Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) with support from Feed The Future USAID and GIZ.

He said Ghana’s journey in the horticulture sector has been marked by significant progress as it has made strides in enhancing the quality of its produce, expanding export markets, and adopting sustainable practices.

These efforts, he said have not only boosted the economy but also positioned Ghana as a key player in the global horticulture market.

However, he said challenges with ensuring food safety and managing post-harvest losses to improving infrastructure and accessing capital must be addressed. 

He stressed the importance of continued collaboration between the government, private sector, and development partners to create an enabling environment that fosters innovation and growth in the horticulture sector.

“It is essential that we continue to work together—government, private sector, and development partners to create an enabling environment that fosters innovation and growth in the horticulture sector,” he said.

Boosting competitiveness 

In 2023, Ghana recorded Non-Traditional Export revenues of $3.9 billion representing an impressive growth of 11.75 per cent and contributing 24 per cent to total merchandise exports. 

The highest contributing sector has been Manufactured & Semi-manufactured products, attributed to the emphasis on value-enhanced products rather than raw materials. 

The horticultural sub-sector in 2023 recorded $495.8 million of total NTEs earnings compared to $509.9 million earned in 2022 indicating a drop in export revenue.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said the Authority was committed to its mission of promoting and enhancing Ghana’s NTEs stating; “the horticultural sector, with its rich variety of high-quality produce, is one of the pillars of this mission.” 

She said challenges in the fruits and vegetables sectors, such as high production costs and inadequate working capital calls for improvement in exporters’ capacities to boost competitiveness and export revenue. 

She added that collaboration with stakeholders was also crucial to enhancing the quality of Ghana’s horticultural products to help compete effectively in the European market.

Potential 

For his part, the President of FAGE, Davies Narh Korboe, said since 2007, FAGE has played a crucial role in enhancing Ghana’s horticultural export sector by improving the skills and business capabilities of exporters and producers. 

“In 2023, agriculture contributed $495.8 million to the $3.9 billion in non-traditional export revenue, though it could be much higher with better conditions. 
FAGE believes the horticulture sector could generate over $10 billion annually by 2029 if challenges such as regulatory issues, inadequate investment, and limited market access are addressed,” he said.

Ghana Horticulture Expo 2024

The three-day event will be held from July 9 to 11 at the DOME of the  Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on the theme: “Celebrating Ghana’s Horticultural Diversity, Producing Quality, and Exporting More.”

The event will feature exhibitions showcasing various horticultural products, networking and B2B sessions, interactions with agriculture students and seminars covering latest trends and opportunities in horticulture as a business, creating a regulatory environment conducive to exports, technological innovations, accessing new markets, securing appropriate financing as well as addressing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues and raising awareness about them.­

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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