GHANA – In bid to boost production and supply of vegetables in Ghana, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has handed over seeds valued at about Ghc90,000 to the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG).
The high-grade seeds presented include hot pepper cayenne, hot pepper safi and okra which were packaged in cans and sachets.
VEPEAG is expected to monitor the effective distribution of the seeds to Members of the Association and ensure the use of best farm practices provide a positive output.
According to GEPA, the objective of the intervention is to increase supply base of vegetables in order to achieve high yields to meet export demands.
Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer of GEPA said, “There’s no use developing and promoting Made in Ghana produce and making so much noise about what we have, when the volumes are not available.”
This intervention has come at a time when stakeholders within the export sector, are finding their feet in adjusting to the new normal following the devastating effects of the Covid19 pandemic on global trade.
Receiving the seeds, the President of VEPEAG, Mr. Felix Kammasa indicated that with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at our doorsteps, the donation will help farmers produce the volumes needed to meet the export demand in new markets and also position Ghana as the leading vegetable exporter.
Over the years, GEPA has provided interventions in cashew, pineapple, yam, coconut and now vegetables.
In 2018, agricultural produce contributed 21.01% to Ghana’s total Non-Traditional Exports coming second after processed and semi-processed products.
Kenya develops new maize breed
In East Africa, Kenya has developed two maize varieties that will help contain the spread of the Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease and fall army worm which have adversely affected maize production in the country.
The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) has developed the varieties that are said to be resistant to the disease and the pest with the new breeds expected in the market by April next year, reports Kenyan News Agency.
The KALRO Director-General, Dr. Eliud Kireger regretted that the viral disease and pest had adversely affected maize production in the country, adding that the menace will be a thing of the past once the new maize varieties hit the market.
“KALRO has developed the two maize varieties that are resistant to MLN disease and fall army worms to help solve the perennial problem that has for long faced maize farmers,” he said.
Kireger revealed that they have passed over the new varieties to private companies for multiplication before availing them to farmers, a move he said will help address food insecurity in the country.
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