Ghana to embark on greenhouse farming

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is seeking the support of Morocco to go into greenhouse farming to boost vegetable production in the country.

The sector Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who led a government delegation to Morocco to participate in the 13th edition of an international agricultural fair, dubbed “Salon International Agriculture Fair of Morocco (SIAM), 2018’’ in Rabat, is meeting experts in that area to solicit support.

He also visited a co-operative vegetable farm, where lettuce is grown and a greenhouse farm at Bouknadel, near Rabat, the capital town of Morocco, to interact with the farmers and learn about best practices in the technology.

Entourage


The minister was accompanied by Ghana’s Ambassador to Morocco, Mr Stephen M.D. Yakubu; an official from the Plant Protection and Regulatory Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agric, Mr Ernest Osei Assibey, the Deputy Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Mr Paul Essien; Special Advisor and Head of Government Results Delivery, Nana Serwaa Bonsu; the Managing Director (MD) of Cocoa Processing Company (CPC), Nana Agyenim Boateng; and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Gas Company, Dr Ben Asante.

Farms

The minister and his entourage, who were taken round the farms by the President of the Co-operative Farmers, Mr Mohammed Sefa, and a District Agricultural Officer, Mr Tahri Mostafa, were schooled on the latest technology in irrigation, vegetable farming and greenhouse technology.

Mr Sefa told the delegation that the co-operative was made up of 12 women and three men and that a well-prepared hectare of farmland could yield 60,000 pieces of cabbage.

He said currently in Morocco, there were 10 different varieties of cabbage which were cultivated for local consumption and for export.

At the greenhouse farm, the minister was briefed on how the technology worked and its benefits to the vegetable industry.

Significance

Dr Akoto explained that he was in Morocco to seek expertise on the greenhouse technology and how Morocco, with its vast knowledge in that area, could help Ghana develop Dahwenya in the Greater Accra Region into a greenhouse village.

Briefing his Moroccan counterpart, Mr Aziz Akhannouch, Dr Akoto said there was a huge potential in the greenhouse technology in Ghana.

According to him, there were some greenhouse farming practices going on in Dahwenya. He identified Kasoa and Akomandan as some of the other areas where the technology could be applied.

Dr Akoto said the government was ready to collaborate with the Moroccan business community in the greenhouse technology to invest in Ghana through a public private partnership (PPP) agreement.

Assurance

Responding, Mr Akhannouch assured the minister and his team that he would link up the business community in Morocco with their Ghanaian counterparts for their mutual benefits.