Nii Ahele Nunoo III (right), Abola Mantse, being assisted by Alfred Braimah (3rd from right), Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Directors Ghana, and Davies Narh Korboe (middle), President, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, to inspect some of the products during the exhibition at the Ghana Horticulture Expo 2024. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Nii Ahele Nunoo III (right), Abola Mantse, being assisted by Alfred Braimah (3rd from right), Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Directors Ghana, and Davies Narh Korboe (middle), President, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, to inspect some of the products during the exhibition at the Ghana Horticulture Expo 2024. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

FAGE identifies international exposure as hurdle to horticulture sector

The Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) has identified limited international exposure and inconsistency in the volume of supply as the major hurdles to the country’s horticultural sector.

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The association said although the country produced a wide array of agricultural products, including high-quality fruits, vegetables and cocoa, its reach in global markets was constrained by insufficient marketing efforts and trade promotion initiatives.

It said there had also been noticeable inconsistencies in supply volumes enabled by a lot of factors such as climate conditions, inadequate storage facilities, and logistical constraints causing fluctuations in agricultural output.

It said such volatility was not only jeopardising the market reliability but also hampering the country’s ability to meet the demands of international buyers consistently.

The President of FAGE, Davies Korboe, made this known at the opening of this year’s Ghana Horticulture Expo in Accra yesterday. It is on the theme; “Celebrating Ghana’s Horticultural Diversity, Produce Quality, Export More.”

The expo

The three-day expo aims to spotlight the country’s potential in horticulture and to underscore the importance of sustainable farming methods in achieving economic growth through the export of value-added products.

The event brought together a diverse array of stakeholders, including business leaders, investors, agricultural producers, researchers, and international buyers.

Several exhibitors were also there to showcase the richness of the country’s horticultural products, ranging from fresh vegetables and fruits to coconut-based products, cashews and oil palm.

Solutions

Mr Korboe urged industry players to increase investment in digital marketing, participate in international trade fairs, and also collaborate with established export promotion agencies to enhance their international exposure.

He added that investment in modern storage facilities, such as temperature-controlled warehouses and improved transportation networks, particularly refrigerated trucks, was also critical.

“Technological advancements like solar-powered drying solutions can also play a role in mitigating post-harvest losses. The adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices like drought-resistant crop varieties can help buffer against weather fluctuations,” Mr Korboe said.

He said the horticulture sector was not merely about crops but also, about livelihoods, economic growth and sustainable development. The sector, he indicated, did not only cater for domestic consumption but also fueled export opportunities, contributing significantly to the country’s economy.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Directors-Ghana, Dr Alfred Braimah, said the country's horticulture sector had a significant role in the national economy, in particular contributing to GDP.

He, however, said the government must recognise the significant contribution of the sector and implement policies that could improve market access, enhance quality standards and promote sustainable farming practices.

The Chief Director at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Paul Siameh, also noted that horticulture played a crucial role in the country’s agricultural growth, employment and foreign exchange earnings.

He said it had contributed to the nation's GDP and had boasted foreign exchange reserves.

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