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Business News of Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor

Stakeholders in vegetable export sector urged to revamp industry

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The Ghana Association of Vegetable Exporters (GAVEX) has expressed concern about the current state of Ghana’s vegetable export sector describing it as only “existed by name”, calling on all stakeholders in the country to rise up to the challenge and ensure the once vibrant industry which has been left dormant is restored back to its full force.

The association maintains the move is in the right direction to guarantee every Ghanaian enjoy the enormous benefits embedded in the industry.

“We in the vegetable business believe that the industry needs to be relooked at critically by all stakeholders, taking into account our actions and inactions of the past with the aim of positioning Ghana’s vegetable export sector to where it belongs, in order to derive the full benefits it can bring to us as a people and as a country”

Daniel Aladi, General Secretary of GAVEX call at the opening 2nd Ghana Veg vegetable fair held on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra on the theme: “Promoting Quality and Healthy Vegetables for the Domestic and Export Markets”.
He observed thousands of hard-working farmers and their workers who used to produce for exporters are no longer engaged in the business including about 50% of exporters who actively engaged in export business in the past are now completely out of business”

“Instead of exporting to bring foreign exchange, these people are now engaged in import trade from China or Europe putting more pressure on our local currency”, Daniel lamented.
This year’s fair exhibition saw 35 companies including organizations exhibiting their products and services. Participants include suppliers of inputs like seeds and crop protection products, to exporters of okra, butternut and curry leaves.

Others providing advisory extension services, or involved in the domestic sales of quality vegetables, like retailers and specialized restaurants. Another important group represents the processors consisting of dried and pasted vegetables and suppliers of equipment like greenhouses, cooling systems and irrigation equipment.

Speaking at the opening of the fair, Senior Business Advisor at Ghana Veg, Sheila Assibey-Yeboah disclosed the fair clearly demonstrates that Ghana’s vegetable sector is booming. She recalled how over the years major private investments have been made in the sector, adding “this can be seen in the field by the number of greenhouses that have been established as well as the number of specialized pack and cool houses constructed”.

The 2016 Veg fair was initiated by Ghana Veg with support from Netherlands Embassy, Ghana Association of Vegetable Exporters (GAVEX) and the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG).