Two leading actors in Ghana’s fruit and vegetable sector have joined forces to increase the production and supply of quality fruits and vegetables and to boost exports to overseas destinations.
The Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG) and the Ghana Association of Vegetable Exporters (GAVEX) have worked independently over the years and made significant investments into the growth of the sector and its contribution to the Ghanaian economy.
The two have jointly announced the birth of Ghana Vegetables, an action plan set to revolutionise the fruits and vegetables industry in Ghana by promoting safe fruit and vegetable production, good postharvest handling and distribution, and the use of good and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.
Ghana Vegetables will be launched in Accra on June 23, 2022 on the theme, ‘Towards a Competitive and Innovative High-value Fruit and Vegetable Sector.’
Ghana’s favourable conditions for vegetable cultivation, coupled with its proximity to, and bilateral relations with, the European Union (EU), position the country at an advantage to benefit from vegetable exports. However, this advantage has not been fully exploited over the years, due to low productivity among other challenges.
Commenting on the milestone, President of VEPEAG, Dr. Felix Mawuli Kamassah, noted: “There have been attempts to consolidate the efforts and strategies of the VEPEAG and GAVEX to present a formidable front to pursue reforms that will benefit the producers and exporters of fresh vegetables.
We are happy to announce the crystallisation of our efforts into the formation of Ghana Vegetables, a blueprint that will spur the growth of fruits and vegetables industry in Ghana while taking advantage of existing export market opportunities.”
Among others, the Ghana Vegetables will work to ensure the production of quality volumes of vegetables for local and international markets to promote the consumption of more vegetables by Ghanaians.
Dr. Kamassah lauded work done by Hortifresh WestAfrica in laying the platform for the birth of the new Ghana Vegetables project.
Hortifresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands 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. Hortifresh replaced the GhanaVeg programme that was implemented from 2013 to 2017 with the aim of developing a competitive and sustainable vegetable sector in Ghana.
For his part, President of GAVEX, Mr Collins Mawuli Hodey said: “This partnership with VEPEAG will broaden our reach and ability to support new initiatives for the fruits and vegetable sector. Ghana Vegetable will introduce measures to ensure vegetable farmers and exporters are better off.”
Established in October 1997 by individual farmers and exporters, VEPEAG has over 400 members in 7 different regions who produce high quality fresh vegetables for the national and international market all year round.
GAVEX is one of the leading vegetable associations in Ghana with member who are active exporters of vegetables. GAVEX has been committed to supporting phytosanitary interventions in Ghana through various initiatives; compliance to new reforms especially by the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) towards improving the phytosanitary situation in the vegetable sector.