The GhanaVeg Program under the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) is offering technical and infrastructural support to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to increase vegetable exports to European markets.
Inadequate inspection materials and poor agricultural practices have been identified as major factors impeding Ghana’s potentials in vegetable export.
Under the initiative, the Ministry’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate will be supported to address issues in basic agronomy to help improve the quality of vegetables produced.
“Some of these problems in basic agronomy, when sorted out, the harmful organisms that put the produce in the category of harmful products will be curtailed,” said Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, Deputy Program Leader of GhanaVeg.
Addressing a business platform for stakeholders in Kumasi, she noted that proper structuring of agriculture in Ghana will help grow the economy.
“The demand for vegetables outweighs the supply and production, with proper institutional and infrastructural set up we should be able to meet the demand and help the economy,” said Ms. Assibey-Yeboah.
The IFDC’s Agricultural Technology Transfer Project has also introduced a modern technology to improve vegetable production in the country.
The aim is to improve application of fertilizers by using the briquetting machine which breaks pure fertilizers into smaller sizes to aid crop production.
The briquetted fertilizer when buried in the soil releases nutrients slowly to facilitate plant growth.
Musa Taylor, a Technical Director of the Agricultural Technology Transfer says the modern mode of application is cheaper and effective compared to the traditional broadcasting mode.
“If you break briquette fertilizer into pallet and you place it in the soil the plant keep enjoying the nutrients for a longer time than broadcasting it; hen you broadcast it and it rains it can easily be washed away,” he noted.
He believes the combination of proper agricultural practices with modern technology will help boost agriculture in the country.