The Reverend Dr. Hans Adu-Dapaah, former Director of the Crop Research Institute (CRI), has underlined the need to make deliberate efforts to promote the cultivation of fruits and vegetables to boost the economy.
He said this area of agriculture had the potential to not only significantly increase food production and food security but could create wealth for farmers and other people in the agricultural production value chain.
Dr. Adu-Dapaah told the 15th annual general meeting and scientific conference of the Ghana Institute of Horticulturists (GhIH) at Fumesua, near Kumasi, that the importance of horticulture to Ghana and its people should not be overlooked.
He said he found it quite disheartening that horticulture had over the years remained largely ignored, adding that, its role and contribution towards efforts at promoting food security and poverty reduction was yet to be fully recognized.
“Promoting food security in a sustainable environment in Ghana” was the theme for the conference held with support from GhanaVeg, a Ghana-based Netherlands Organization, dedicated to commercial vegetable production in the country.
Dr. Adu-Dapaah asked members of GhIH to work hard and whip up interest to get more people to go into horticultural production.
He identified the lack of credit support, poor soil fertility, high post-harvest loses, degradation of natural resources, climate change and inadequate irrigation facilities, as the major challenges to the nation’s agriculture and said these must be addressed to ensure food security and assure farmers of sustainable incomes.
He also spoke of the need to provide farmers with access to research information and knowledge – to aid the adoption of improved farming technology.
Mr. Joep Van den Broek, Programme Leader of GhanaVeg, said research was critical to the promotion of food security and alleviation of hunger.
GhanaVeg, he said, was therefore interested in helping to make research activities relevant to the private sector - to provide practical on-field solutions to problems affecting food crop production.
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