Dutch Trade Investors Collaborate with Ghana’s Horticultural Sector

Dutch Trade Investors Collaborate with Ghana’s Horticultural Sector

An 11 member trade mission from the Netherlands horticulture sector is visiting Ghana from June 13-15 to explore business and investments opportunities.  The delegation is led by the Dutch Topsector on Horticulture in order to establish a network with government, knowledge institutes and the private sector.

The mission members come from a wide variety of horticultural technology and knowledge providers. For example Celtic Cooling works on cold storage facilities; and there are three seed Companies; Takii Seeds, Suba Seeds and Enza Seeds. In addition, Bio Invest a financial Institution take part, as well as Dutch greenhouse equipment suppliers; Green Farming, and an organic fertilizer company, Agri BSA. Also an investment broker, YBE, participates in the mission and a company, called Ominivent, specialized in potato and onion storage solutions. Lastly, two engineering and consultancy companies are part of the mission, Haskoning and Delphy.

The Netherlands horticulture sector accounts for €12.5 billion in domestic production, and €17 billion in exports and provides jobs to more than 450,000 people. The delegation will hold matchmaking sessions with Ghanaian businesses to discuss business partnerships and investments.

The mission coincides with the 3rd GhanaVeg Fruit and Vegetable Fair which brings together 50 Ghanaian companies representing the entire vegetable value chain. The opening of the Trade Fair, which is held at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, is undertaken by the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Mr. Ron Strikker and the Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry, Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay .

Speaking on the theme “Fruits and Vegetables made in Ghana” H.E. Mr. Ron Strikker indicated that the “trade delegation exemplifies the Netherlands governments’ focus on promoting agriculture through private sector investments, gradually moving from Aid to Trade. The mission and trade fair clearly resonate the motto of Holland and Ghana growing together”.

On Thursday 15 June, GhanaVeg is organizing a Business Platform Meeting in which agronomic issues will be discussed and the Road Map for Pest Reduction in Ghana’s Vegetable Export Sector. In addition, GhanaVeg will make use of the occasion to honor seven companies for their innovative contributions to the sector. In the presence of the

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, seven companies will receive the so-called GhanaVeg Awards. GhanaVeg programme leader, Joep van den Broek, said the horticulture sector is steadily gaining ground, and productivity and income at farmer level is increasing. “We at GhanaVeg are optimistic that this trade mission will further contribute to the increase in fruits and vegetables Made in Ghana; and that gradually also exports will increase again.  We sincerely hope that as many people as possible will visit the Trade Fair between 13 and 15 June and La Palm Royal Beach Hotel.

Recipe Episode 14: Poulet DG- Director General’s Chicken- GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Poulet DG – Director General’s Chicken- GhanaVeg Food Diaries

INGREDIENTS

200 ml oil

2 plantain, just yellow

1 kg chicken thighs

1/2 onion, grated

2 tbsp parsley chopped

1 tsp garlic, ground

1 tbsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp African nutmeg

1 tbsp curry powder

2 carrots cut round

2 spring onion

2 sweet peppers medium dice

1/2 onion, cut in rings

2 cups chicken stock

Salt and Pepper to taste

 DIRECTIONS

Shallow fry plantain with oil and set aside plantain and keep oil in pan and fry seasoned chicken and set it aside.

With remaining oil, over medium heat, add onion, parsley, garlic, ginger, curry and nutmeg. Cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add carrots and let cook.

Add onions, spring onion, bell peppers and stock and allow it to cook for a few minutes and simmer for about 15 mins until almost tender.

Add fried chicken and cook for 10 mins. Then add fried plantain for about 2 mins

Serve as whole meal.

Recipe Episode 13 Salted Beef with Vegetables GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Salted Beef with Vegetables GhanaVeg

 INGREDIENTS

1 Green Pepper (thinly sliced), 1 onion (thinly sliced), 2 carrots (thinly sliced) 250 g eggplant (thinly sliced) 12 mushrooms roughly torn 4 tomatoes pinch cayenne pepper pinch black pepper 15 ml coconut oil 400 g salted beef mix of favorite spices, to taste Herb Sauce, 2 green chills1 cup fresh parsley 1 cup fresh coriander zest of 1 lemon 50 ml coconut oil. Link

DIRECTION

Boil salted beef, until soft. Changing water to make sure most of the salt comes out. Puree all the ingredients for herb sauce in a blender until smooth Cut tomatoes in half and place face down in hot and dry pan. Add a small spoonful of oil to the pan and sauté sliced vegetables. Mash half the tomatoes and add to the sautéed vegetables and mix. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper. Place vegetables on serving plate. Season the boiled salted beef with your favorite spices (no salt is needed). In the frying pan used for the vegetables, fry the beat till golden. To serve, place half grilled tomatoes on top of vegetables, followed by sautéed beef, drizzle with coconut oil, and herb sauce. Enjoy

Recipe Episode 12: Vegetable Stir fried noodles with chicken – GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Vegetable Stir fried noodles with chicken – GhanaVeg

 INGREDIENTS

4 tsp oil, 400 g sliced skinless chicken,1 tbsp garlic, 1 tbsp ginger 1 cup each /1/2 margarine tin each of 4 vegetables cleaned and cut (such as green beans, carrots, green sweet peppers, zucchini, mushrooms), 2-4 tbsp water, 100 g spring onion 4 tbsp sesame seed, 1/4 tsp kpakpo shito minced 150 g noodles/spaghetti, salt, 6 large Basil leaves sliced for garnish Link

DIRECTION

Heat a pot of salted water to boil noodles. Heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken, garlic and ginger until chicken is lightly browned. Remove chicken. Add vegetables and a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid and let vegetables cook for 5-10 minutes until semi tender. Check from time to time and stir vegetables to ensure even cooking. Add chicken to the vegetables and let cook until vegetables and chicken are cooked through. Add sesame seeds, chili, green onions and salt to taste. Add noodles to boiling water and cook until almost tender. Drain and add to the vegetables. Adjust chili and salt as needed. Add sliced basil. Serve.

Recipe Episode 11: Sweet Potato Cake- GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Recipe: Sweet Potato Cake-  Watch Episode of the  Deputy Ambassador Caecilia Wijgers

INGREDIENTS

500 gram sweet potato, 100g smoked mackerel, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon grated African nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet potato leaves or favorite greens, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, spice paste (minced or ground in asanka) 3 shallots, 1 garlic cloves, Coconut oil for frying, Kpakpo shito,

 DIRECTIONS

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into pieces. Steam the sweet potatoes until fork tender. While sweet potatoes are steaming, slightly sauté spice paste in a little bit of oil and set aside. When sweet potatoes are already, mash them then add smoked fish, 1 egg, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, sautéed spice paste and greens. Divide into 8 patties. Beat the remaining egg to create an egg wash. Place bread crumbs in a bowl. Quickly pass patties through egg wash then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan and fry until golden brown or bake in a medium oven until browned. Serve with a green salad and kpakpo shito or condiment of your choice.

Click link to watch Episode

Recipe Episode10: Sweet Potato Cauliflower and Chicken Curry- GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Recipe: Sweet Potato Cauliflower and Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS

1-2 head of cauliflower, cut 2 sweet potatoes, large dice 1 onion, diced 2 tomatoes, diced 2 tbsp. coconut oil1 tsp. minced garlic ½ tsp. coriander ½ tsp. turmeric 1 tbsp. cumin ¼ tsp. ground ginger ¼ tsp. cinnamon ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

½ tsp. sea salt 2 cups water or vegetable stock 400 g left over chicken (optional) handful coriander leaves, chopped

 DIRECTIONS

 Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic, coriander, turmeric, cumin, ground ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Cook for 1 minute, or until onion is lightly browned. Add the potatoes 1 1/2 – 2 cups of vegetable stock, cover, and cook for an additional 7– 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to low, and cover. Stir occasionally and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until cauliflower and potatoes are tender. Add leftover or sautéed chicken. Mix in diced tomato when ready to serve. Garnish with coriander leaves Serve with cooked brown rice. GhanaVeg food Diaries

Recipe: Episode 9 Special Fried Rice- GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Special Fried Rice – GhanaVeg

 INGREDIENTS GhanaVeg Food Diaries

4 tbsp oil, 30 g ginger, 30 g garlic, 200 g minced, pork/chicken/beef (optional), 1 cup/1/2 margarine tin each of 4 vegetables, cleaned and cut onion, carrot, zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, 400 g cooked brown rice, 50g spring onions, 3 tbsp soy sauce 2 tsp chili flakes, salt to taste, 4 eggs, white pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and brown minced meat (if using). Set meat aside.
  2. Add remaining oil to pan and heat over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until clear. Add garlic, ginger and let cook until fragrant. Add remaining vegetables and let

cook until almost tender. Add cooked rice, soy sauce, chili flakes, spring onion and white pepper. Set aside in serving bowls.

  1. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and season to taste with salt. Fry eggs as an omelet. Roll and slice thinly. Serve with fried rice

The Episode

The show focuses on the sources of vegetables to the Ghanaian market. Where do we get the largest volumes of the various vegetables we consume in Ghana?.  Alex Ackon, a farmer and transporter of vegetables and Greenhouse produce was engaged in the discussion with Selassie Atadika the host and the chef. He talks about some differences in the production lines of Ghana and those that come from  other parts of the country.

The show also solicited  for public views on the subject and a visit to the Tema General market  in Ghana to buy some fresh vegetables for the day’s recipe.

Preparation of food

Selassie and Alex took the turn to prepare a delicious Special Fried Rice as well as having discussions around what the favorite vegetables of Alex is. Alex exhibited his skill of cooking with Selassie as he gradually adds the various ingredients to the oil in the saucepan whiles giving it a gentle stir to avoid sticking and burning. Gradually he complete the preparation of the Special Fried Rice. Selassie serves the food for Alex to taste.

Recipe: Episode 8:Spiced Goat and Gboma Stew with Apem-GhanaVeg Food Diaries

Spiced Goat and Gboma Stew with Apem Take a look

INGREDIENTS

800 g goat meat, 3 cm cinnamon stick, 5 cardamom pods, 5 cloves, 1/4 t turmeric, Salt, 6 cups Gboma, cleaned and roughly chopped, 4 tbsp oil, 1 t cumin seed, 1 T ground ginger, 1 T ground garlic, 5 onions, sliced, 1/2 T ground kpakpo shit

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil goat meat with first 4 spices and salt until soft. Reserve meat and broth.
  2. Blanch Gboma in boiling water for 1 minute
  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add cumin, garlic and ginger. After 1 minute, add onions and cook until brown.
  4. Add goat meat, chili and broth and cook for about 10 mins. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add blanched Gboma and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with boiled apem.

Irrigation System

The episode takes a close look at  irrigation for vegetable production rather than rain fed production. It looks at what the different types of irrigation system are and what the challenges and advantages are.

The discussion is done by two gentlemen Hisham  from Kukobila Nasia Farms and Pon from Srighan Farms who are both funded projects of GhanaVeg with the host of the show Selassie Atadeka. These gentlemen share their experiences with irrigation production.

Kukobila is engaged in the production of Butternut Squash and other vegetables for the local market. Srighan farms is also engaged in the production of crops such as Pumpkin, Turia and other Asian vegetables for the European market and beyond.

They explained how they are able to have an all year production with or without rainfalls. They explain the cost involve can be high as one needs to use a mechanical ways to supply water to the farms but also the greatest advantage of how an individual is able to control water for the plant. The episode also takes a tour to Srighan farms to have a look at what is cultivated.

The recipe session was done by Selassie the host of the show and Pon form Srighan farms. They prepared  spiced Goat and Gboma stew with Apem.

Increasing awareness, demand and use of Butternut Squash as an indigenous vegetable for the Ghanaian cuisine

Increasing awareness, demand and use of Butternut Squash as an indigenous vegetable for the Ghanaian cuisine

As part of activities to increase demand for butternut squash for both domestic and export market, Kukobila Nasia Farms had developed a Homemade Butternut Squash Recipe Brochure to increase awareness and knowledge of the vegetable and also boost the consumption and integrate of butternut squash into Ghanaian dishes.  “We are doing this to ensure this kind of vegetable appeals to the Ghanaian community and erase the current notion people have believing it is for the foreign niche market.” The Director of Kukobila Farms, Hisham Seidu explained. The brochure has been uniquely designed to have different Ghanaian recipes with inclusion of butternut squash either used as a substitute for commonly used vegetables like eggplants or complements to other vegetable sauce or soups. These brochures will be made available at Supermarkets & sales outlets for easy accessibility.

Kukobila produces about 6 tons per hectare of butternut squash after every production cycle of which 80% serves the local market and other medium to high end Supermarkets in Ghana. The rest of the 20% which are not in good condition to be sold, are used as animal feed for Kukobila’s livestock. Spanning over the period of 2015/16, Kukobila has cultivated about 12 hectares of butternut squash. There are negotiations to firm up decision to resume export activities for this vegetable to the EU and other markets. Kukobila has also stated some negotiations for processing this butternut squash into readily available puree.

Outgrower Support

Kukobila has about 17 outgrowers who are engaged actively in the cultivation of this vegetable with about 20 more of these outgrowers on standby due to availability of market. Others are also engaged in the production of Okra and other local leafy vegetables for the Ghanaian market. Kukobila’s outgrowers have been trained on the processes involved in efficiently producing and harvesting quality and healthy butternut since the vegetable is fairly new to some outgrowers. Some of the protocols outgrowers are taking through during our training sessions are, spraying techniques, crop protection, identifying and control of pest and diseases, irrigation techniques and efficient water management. Farmers are also provided with the requisite inputs such as quality seeds and irrigation facilities to enhance production.

Challenges

Access to market for butternut squash seems not to be readily available as the vegetable is not well known in the Ghanaian market. Challenges with outgrowers is something Kukobila is battling with up North as people here  have a different attitude towards work because of the kind of assistance given them freely and effortlessly. “Outgrowers are always expectant of free assistance without any commitment on their part. Once it is not free, expressing of interest to get involve is minimal or sometimes zero” Mr. Seidu explained. We are currently working on strategies to deal with this serious situation as it is widely affecting the development and production qualities of many farmers up North.

There are high cost of utilities for operationalizing the irrigation system of Kukobila and high cost of transporting produce to available market especially the urban centres which proves to be a viable market source for Butternut Squash.

Way Forward

Kukobila is strategizing to increase cultivation of butternut Squash to more than 20 hectares, expand our Outgrower outreach and monitoring as well as develop our products lines for both the domestic & export market. We will engage more for opportunities in new markets across the globe and new ways of making this vegetable appeal to the Ghanaian market. “We are looking at moving about 90% of our irrigation activities to solar to avoid the high cost of operation of our irrigation system and making available affordable irrigation equipment to outgrowers within our reach.

We are developing a system for storage of harvested produced for the market. An attractive packaging system will be developed to make produce more attractive for the market. We are looking at having a semi-processed butternut readily available for the market. Another venture that Kukobila is exploring is to engage authorities of the Ghana School Feeding Program to incorporate butternut squash in the meals of children as it serves as a good source of nutrients for the human body. GhanaVeg

For further information, kindly contact Director of Kukobila, Hisham Seidu 00233 (0) 264988197

Recipe Episode 6: Grilled Calamari Salad-GhanaVeg Food Diaries

 Recipe for Grilled Calamari Salad

Episode 6 of GhanaVeg Food Diaries focuses on the use of Hybrid seeds and a lovely recipe of Grilled Calamari Salad Link

INGREDIENTS

4 cups chopped lettuce, 1 cup green bell pepper, 1 cup red onion, diced, 1 cup tomatoes diced, 1 cup carrots diced, 1 cup avocado cut, 1 cup beetroot, diced, slices from 2 oranges, 400 g calamari, oil, salt, Vinaigrette, 60 ml oil,1 tsp mustard, juice from oranges, salt, pepper to taste

 DIRECTIONS

Season the calamari with oil and salt. Grill, them, cooking each side for about 2-3 minutes. Mix all the ingredients from the vinaigrette together until slightly thickened. Cut and mix all the vegetables except the salad and oranges and toss with vinaigrette. Placed the lettuce on the serving plate, top with dressed vegetables and top with grilled Calamari and orange slices.

The GhanaVeg  food Diaries is a television cook show developed to raise awareness on the consumption of vegetables and production related challenges in the vegetable sector.  The show has been segmented to discuss thought provoking issues that consumers need to know.

This episode focuses on one of GhanaVeg’s  project partner Tikola Ghana. Tikola Ghana has been founded by GhanaVeg to collaborate with East West Seeds to  supply to Ghana’s vegetable sector hybrid seeds ranging from peppers, onions, cucumber, tomatoes,  okra, pawpaw seeds among others.

With this episode, GhanaVeg  food diaries visits Eben’s farm to see how production is with him with the use of ‘Prema’ seed, an onion variety from Tikola Ghana.  The show discusses how the seeds are improving production in terms of yield.

An interview was conducted with the public to ascertain on what their knowledge is on the use of healthy and quality seeds for production whether or not this is paramount to the kind of produce we harvest.

To climax the episode, we take a quick look at a  mouth-watering Grilled Calamari Salad  recipe with Selassie (Host & chef) and Eben (farmer).