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Hortifresh launches programme to boost horticultural production and export in Ghana

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Juliana Opuni (right), CEO of Joekopan Enterprise exchanging pleasantries with an official from the Netherlands Embassy
Juliana Opuni (right), CEO of Joekopan Enterprise exchanging pleasantries with an official from the Netherlands Embassy

Hortifresh, a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has, as part of its mission to establish a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive food and nutrition security, launched “the Exporter-Outgrower financial product to boost horticultural production and export in Ghana”.

The Exporter-Outgrower financial product aims to improve access-to-finance for small holder farmers and export companies in the fruit and vegetable sector in a sustainable manner in Ghana.

Signing of the Exporter-Outgrower financial product agreement took place on Tuesday February 5, 2019 during a Hortifresh fair at Blue Skies in Accra between Joekopan and Rabobank foundation with full support from HortiFresh.

Joekopan is one of the top three vegetable exporters from Ghana and was the winner of the vegetable Exporter of the Year Award in 2013 and 2014. Rabobank from the Netherlands is the largest AgriFood bank in the world with a strong presence in Ghana.

During the signing ceremony, the Netherlands Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, H.E Ms Carola Schouten, affirmed the Netherlands commitment to the growth of the horticulture sector in Ghana through its support of the HortiFresh programme.

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She mentioned that the horticulture sector can provide many jobs, exports and economic growth to Ghana in a sustainable way. She therefore called on the collaboration between the private sector, research institutes and governments as this cooperation had been the key-to-success for the sustainable development of the horticulture sector in other countries.

In an interview with the project Manager of HortiFresh, Ms. Shiela Assibey-Yeboah, she said one of the key components of the programme is access to finance where farmers and export companies will be helped to scale up their businesses to meet international standards. She said HortiFresh will support the beneficiary, Joekopan, with technical knowledge and other kinds of support to ensure they pay the loan on time.

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HortiFresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which has prioritised commercial agriculture in its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade.

The programme’s mission is to establish a sustainable and internationally competitive fruits and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food and security in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The programme aims to reach 15,000 farmers and increase their productivity by 20% by 2021.