Business News of Monday, 19 June 2017

Source: thefinderonline.com

Government targets horticulture exports - Prof Frimpong-Boateng

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, has said government is in the process of clamping down on illegal mining activities to engage in horticulture and be part of the effort at developing a new export product for Ghana.

According to him, garden and flowers are not only objects of beauty to the eyes and healing to the distressed soul but also good for individual livelihoods as seen in other African countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia, where horticulture creates jobs for millions and flower exports earn millions of dollars in foreign exchange.

“There is no doubt that Ghana can also benefit from horticulture if the needed attention is paid to it especially by the youth” he noted. He stressed that what is seen in the horticulture sector is completely opposite picture of what prevails in the illegal mining business, where environmental pollution, land degradation, pollution of rivers and other water bodies, undermine agriculture in some of our most fertile areas.

Professor Frimpong Boateng made these revelations when he launched the 5th Anniversary of Stratcomm Africa’s Garden and Flower Show at the Labadi Beach Hotel on Friday.

The MESTI, he said, attaches great importance to efforts aimed at preserving our environment, particularly by stakeholders in the private sector.

“As the minister responsible for environment, I applaud initiatives such as the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, which seek to raise the awareness of all Ghanaians, and help harness the potential of rich biodiversity,” he added.

He announced that the ministry will partner the movement to promote the education and empowerment of all Ghanaians by increasing awareness of, and concern for, environmental issues.

The objective of the show is to provide a platform for preserving the environment and, at the same time, create awareness about job creation and income-generation opportunities that horticulture provides for Ghanaians.

Consequently, he was delighted that the objectives of the show are very much in line with the objectives of the current National Environmental Policy; that is, to unite Ghanaians in working toward a society where all residents of the country have access to sufficient and wholesome food, clean air and water, decent affordable housing in sound and safe environment.

In her welcome address, Ms. Esther Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, said environmental conservation is critical for human survival and gardens and flowers play a most critical role in protecting our environment.

She advised that, “We need to take responsibility for maintaining a clean and beautiful environment. After all, God created a beautiful garden and placed us all in it. The world dies if our gardens die. The world is our Garden, let’s love and maintain it for our benefit.”

The theme for this year’s show is of ‘Flower Ghana, Grow Ghana’ and, according to Ms Cobbah, it centres on the development of the floriculture and horticultural industry in Ghana for environmental preservation and as a potential source of job creation and income-generation for national growth and livelihood enhancement.

Activities for this year’s show, which is scheduled for August 31 to September 4, 2017, include technical conferences and practical workshops on the flora and fauna industry, a movie night, exhibitions, a jazz night, fashion show, party in the park among other exciting moments.