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Business News of Sunday, 1 September 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Stratcomm Africa holds 7th Ghana Garden and Flower Conference

Flowers naturally exude beauty and for many centuries, many countries around the globe have made huge sums of foreign exchange from these types of plants from their cultivation.

Countries such as Israel, Netherlands, Mexico, Chile, China, Ethiopia, and Peru have become household names on the international market when it comes to cut-flowers business.

It is based on this premise that the Stratcomm Africa has organised its 7th edition of the Ghana Garden and Flower Conference in Accra on Friday, August 23, 2019, with the aim of making public the huge opportunities in the floriculture and horticultural industry to the country’s development.

The seventh edition of the Ghana Garden and Flower Show was launched in Accra on June 27, this year, on the theme: “Be The Change”.

Opportunities

The Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, Mrs Esther A.N Cobbah, said the floriculture and horticultural industry in the country had tremendous potential of impacting the economy positively through job creation, foreign exchange as well as attracting potential investors to the country.

The floral culture, she explained, included home gardens, community gardens at public spaces, business area gardening, church gardening, and hotel gardening.

She said the floriculture and horticultural industry could make the country greener, healthier, wealthier and more beautiful, pointing out that the country spent a lot of money importing flowers, which resulted in the country losing some foreign exchange in the process.



Mrs Cobbah said “We believe that floral culture can generate business” adding that the “floral culture can generate employment.”

She expressed the worry that many people only had interest for the mining and the timber sectors, with little or no attention for the floral and horticultural industry.

According to her, the country’s good climatic conditions such as its sunshine, water bodies and soil types could give it a comparative advantage over its peers in the industry.

She noted that the horticulture industry could also contribute to the ways by which the country could use to clear its environment of its plastic waste.

Mrs Cobbah said the horticulture and floral culture had the prospects of adding to the country’s aesthetic beauty.

Conference

Touching on the conference, she said “What we hope to achieve is to contribute to individual livelihood enhancement and general national development”, stressing that it would also help in “the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

She said the event brought experts from Holland to educate participants on how the country could develop its horticulture industry.

Mrs Cobbah has, therefore, urged people to change their attitude towards the environment and gardening, saying “We are asking people to have a positive attitude towards the environment so that we can have a green environment.”

She, however, explained that for change to happen in any society, there was the need for an effective communication, hence the organisation’s resolve to use its expertise to transfer knowledge to transform the development of a vibrant horticulture and floral culture in the country.

“Young people should know that gardens are associated with fun and prosperity,” Mrs Cobbah said.



Climatic condition

For her part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Family Child and Associates, Dr Juliette Tuakli, explained that the horticulture industry largely depended on the climate for its success and that the country had a good climatic condition for the cultivation of tropical flowers.

She, however, expressed worry that in spite of the huge potential in the horticulture industry, the country had not commercialised it.

According to her, one of the obstacles impeding the development of the country’s horticultural and floricultural industry was lack of infrastructures, such as refrigerators and transportation systems.

A representative from the Netherlands Embassy, Mr Jan van den Berg, said the country had an advantage over its peers in terms of climatic conditions, hence urging investors to start bigger farms in the country in the horticultural sector.