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Regional News of Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Source: GNA

Volta to lead in exotic vegetables production

Ho, Feb. 19, GNA- Mr Hope Tata Amrado, the Volta Region Zonal Officer of the Export Promotion Council, said the region would become Ghana's leading producer of exotic vegetables for exports in the next five years.

He said the southern part of the region was already leading in the production of the vegetables with the Ho Municipal area fast catching up with its cultivation.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Ho, Mr Amrado said schools and churches would be supported to go into exotic mango plantations to serve as sources of income and to protect their under-utilized lands from being trespassed.

He said the region could produce for export chilly pepper, okra, ginger, avocado pear among others and that the region had comparative advantage the cultivation of these crops.

Mr Amrado said the Council was working to identify districts in the region that would be suitable for the production of exotic vegetables and also contacting the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for technical advice in the production of the vegetables. He said the Council would as from March this year, establish export desks in every district assembly and municipal assembly in the region to provide technical advice on the production of non-traditional export crops.

Mr Amrado said the Council had identified the lack of capacity building and good business management practices rather than cash as the major obstacles to the development of the non-traditional export sector in the region.

He said the Council has since July 2007 been organizing training programmes for people in the region in the non-traditional export sector.

Mr Amrado urged people in the sector to look for markets in West Africa and Africa where it could be easier to sell their goods rather than the European, North American and other non-African markets where artificial barriers to exports of African good were difficult to overcome.

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