Stakeholders within the floriculture industry have urged government to consider investing in the sector to harness its potential and to boost economic growth.
They said despite the enormous economic benefits the country stands to gain from the industry, it has failed to commercialise the sector – leaving majority of its potentials untapped.
In an interview with the media on the sidelines of the 2019 Ghana Garden and Flower Conference on Friday, Dr. Juliette Taukli – a horticulturalist – noted that a major factor hindering the country’s production, processing and transportation of produce in the sector is the lack of required infrastructure.
She said due to the delicate nature of such produce, it would be prudent if proper refrigerator storage and refrigerated transport can be made available from the point of production to its sale points.
She said: “Flowers that are cut in a tropical garden or tropical farm cannot be allowed to get heated or damp or in any way moist in transit to the airplane that takes them to whichever country they are going to be sold in; and I find that people here still need to do a little bit of work around that”.
The Chief Executive Officer of Juliette’s Garden said government should therefore take a cue from other African countries, especially Ethiopia, to make sure the needed infrastructure is made available to those who want to venture into the production of flowers on a commercial scale.
“We actually require government’s assistance due to the nature of infrastructure required. It will take far too much of an investment for a personal company to invest in the storage and transport delivery sector of it, and arrangement with the commercial flights at the airport,” she stated.
The conference, organised by Strategic Communications (Stratcomm) Africa, was aimed at providing a platform for knowledge-sharing and skills enhancement in developing the floriculture industry and promoting green innovation.
It was attended by horticulturalists, students, agriculturalists, and environmentalists among others.
It was held on the theme ‘Changing to a Sustainable Circular Economy – the place of Floriculture’.
Dr. Tuakli also encouraged Ghanaians to minimise cost by hedging their walls.
This, she said, could also serve as security – especially when thorny flowers are used for the hedging – as well as improve on the environment.
Mr. Jan Van Den Berg, a Floriculture Expert, on his part urged Ghanaians to take advantage of its suitable climate to expand and commercialise its primary produce, especially floral production.
He said the good climate coupled with availability of water and good humidity makes it suitable for the production of almost everything, especially flowers at a low production cost.
“Ghana has a good climate, water, good humidity – so you can grow everything; but I think a lot of food, flowers, foliage which the world needs can be grown here for a low cost price, because that is important.
“If you want to export and get foreign exchange, you have to compete with other nations on the continent; and I think Ghana can get a lot of benefits out of that,” he said.