On the occasion of the visit of the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, GhanaVeg launched four Business Initiatives that will provide a boost to the production of quality vegetables in Ghana. GhanaVeg is an initiative supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Accra, focussing on healthy and quality vegetables from Ghana through new ways of doing business.
During the ceremony two fund winners, who each will receive a 50% co-financing grant of GHS 200,000, presented their business plans. For Catherine Krobo-Edusei of Eden Tree LTD, the grant will support her in working closely together with 120 farmers who supply her vegetable trading company. Eden Tree will enter into contractual arrangements with the farmers who will receive assistance in terms of: quality seeds, agronomic training and certification. The second company, Tikola, is an agent of East-West Seeds and, through the Fund, it will expand its reach to 50 well-trained agrodealers in the major vegetable producing regions; it will develop 19 demonstration sites; and will reach more than 4,000 farmers with superior vegetable seeds. The targeted farmers are expected to increase their productivity by 30-50%.nbsp;
The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms. Lilianne Ploumen congratulated the winners of the GhanaVeg Business Opportunity Fund. She emphasized that this initiative fits well within the new Dutch policy of ‘Trade and Aid’ using innovative approaches in reducing food insecurity by engaging the private sector. The Minister mentioned that a conducive environment should be created for business and private sector development. This would be one of the surest ways of solving youth unemployment and food insecurity problems for a sustainable growth. Minister Ploumen added that the Netherlands is gradually reducing its aid to Ghana and refocusing its efforts on building and strengthening trade relations and private sector initiatives. The agriculture and in particular the vegetable sector is an exemplary sector where Ghana and the Netherlands have much to offer to each other. The Netherlands being in the top-3 of the world’s biggest exporters and Ghana having a huge potential for delivering top quality vegetables to both the domestic and international market.
During the launch ceremony Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, Ms. Catherine Krobo-Edusei and Mr. Idris Egala symbolically planted the first seeds of chili peppers in a nursery tray. The Minister stated that: “Like these seeds, I expect your business initiatives to bear many fruits!”