The International Potato Center (CIP), a development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty and the degradation of natural resources, is set to partner the maiden Fruit and Vegetables Fair (FRUITVEG) 2019.
CIP is a custodian to a collection of potato, sweet potato and Andean roots and tubers including the world’s largest in-vitro collection of potato diversity.
In a statement, the Country Manager of CIP Ghana, Dr. Thomas van Mourik, noted that: “CIP is constantly seeking to forge new, relevant partnerships to ensure that the Center is informed and provides access to the most advanced technologies and skills, acting as an intermediary to share their technological know-how to potato and sweet potato farmers in developing nations”.
The maiden national FruitVEG Fair 2019 is scheduled for Koforidua Technical University from August 21st – 22nd2019.
“We are excited to be a part of this effort to deliver a convergence arena that seeks to fulfil the need for an agenda benefiting smallholder, medium and large-scale farmers in the developing world concerning this important sector,” Dr. van Mourik added.
According to him, CIP seeks to share improved sweet potato farming knowledge and technologies, contribute to structuring of sweet potato farmer unions, and to significantly contribute to improving food security and household incomes within the West African sub-region.
The Executive Director-FruitVEG Secretariat, Christopher Kpeh, acknowledged the importance of the CIP partnership as crucial to the objectives of FRUITVEG 2019. He emphasised that Secretariat seeks to promote the fruit and vegetables sector by rallying support for increase cultivation of fruit and vegetables for local consumption, industrial use and export to gain foreign exchange.
The Executive Director said: “In an increasingly competitive global grocery market, retailers are looking to the fruit and vegetables business more and more for ideas on how to boost their sales, improve consumer experience in their stores, and distinguish their overall offer. In many areas, this will translate into a higher demand for better-tasting products that can command a better price; but in developing markets, the affordability of quality fresh produce may well be an influential deciding factor.”
The maiden edition of the fair is on the theme ‘Fruit and Vegetables; A catalyst for Health and Economic Development, and will showcase, celebrate and deliberate on the business features within the fruit and vegetables sector, as well as the vital role played by growers, suppliers and buyers within the sector.
In his submission, Henry K. Crentsil Jnr., the Eastern Region Director-Regional Department of Agriculture, stated that the Eastern Region remains a key player in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables in the country; hence, the Directorate welcomes the opportunity to partner FruitVEG Fair 2019.
Mr. Crentsil Jnr further expressed the belief that such platforms will help to stimulate growth and development in Ghana’s fruit and vegetables sector.
He therefore commended the FruitVEG Fair Secretariat for identifying the region as the first point of its campaign to promote fruitful dialogue and showcase Ghana’s fruit and vegetables potential.
Through exhibitions and seminars, stakeholders will be linked to untiring efforts at feeding the country’s growing population, providing raw materials to the nation’s industries, and contributing substantially to the nation’s foreign exchange earnings through export.
The Fruit and Vegetables Fair will serve as a convergence point for stakeholders. It seeks to provide an excellent opportunity for growers to present their fresh produce ready for exports to buyers, while suppliers will have a great chance to showcase to both growers and buyers of fresh produce their latest technological solutions and innovations, value-added processing & packaging to improve efficiency and profitability of fresh produce operations.
Touching on the objectives of FruitVEG in the years ahead, Mr. Kpeh said: “We are first looking forward to attracting nationwide attention to our fairs, then international buyers of fresh food to come and witness the nation’s fresh produce on display – from indigenous farmers to commercial farmers – in order to forge fruitful connections and partnerships for socio-economic benefits”.
The FruitVEG fair is a product of FruitVEG Initiative Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, VERITAS Publics, Infocus BCW, Rite FM and Karidok Juice among other stakeholders.
Between August 21 and 22, 2019, over 500 stakeholders will convene at the Koforidua Technical University for the maiden edition of the fair.