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One of Ghana’s leading agripreneurs, Mr. Davies Narh Korboe, popularly known as ‘Farmer Davies’ has recognized Ghana’s fruit sector as one of the sectors that is seeing remarkable success.
The 2009 National Best Farmer and Chairman for the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWAG), stressed that one area of Ghana’s agricultural sector that excels much is the horticultural industry.
Farmer Davies made the observation at the first Ghana/Hungary Agricultural forum held at the Hungary Embassy in Accra to strengthen ties on how the Hungarian Government can collaborate with the Ghana Agricultural industry for an improvement in the sector.
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“Ghana produces flavorful varieties of pineapples and mangoes, which are exported to Europe and sold at premium prices in the supermarkets as fresh-cut fruit,” Farmer Davies asserted. “Ghana is highly competitive in one key cash crop –cocoa for which it controls 21% of the world market.”
Challenges confronting farmers
The former national best farmer however bemoaned the enormous challenges facing the average Ghanaian farmer such as; rain fed farming, lack of sustainable export markets, poor storage facilities and land litigation. The challenges also include poor transportation network, inadequate finance, high interest rates, inadequate technical experts, etc.
The chairman for the awardees thus called for the remedy of these challenges since “the problems and challenges are part and parcel of humanity and what matters is how to remedy them.”
He was also hopeful that government’s One District, One Factory in all 216 districts would help address the marketing problems encountered by farmers by adding value to the previously fresh produce which cannot be readily sold in the markets.
Growth of the horticultural industry
From 1997, horticulture exports from Ghana have grown tremendously. Pineapples and citrus fruits form the major bulk of horticultural exports, and these are sent to countries using air and sea route. The government has taken proactive steps to help horticultural exporters by linking them to the SPEG.
More than 70,000 tonnes of fruits are exported from Ghana annually and the principal fruits exported are pineapples, citrus, bananas, and papayas. Ironically, the country has very few large-scale growers and majority of the fruits are cultivated and grown by small growers.
Pineapples, bananas and papaya are exported to Europe, while citrus finds its way to neighbouring Togo.
Source: mynewsghana.com//Michael Oberteye//[email protected]