HBP Project Update: Horticulture Workshop At Ho During The Volta Fair 2023. 


HBP Project Update: Horticulture Workshop At Ho During The Volta Fair 2023. 

We are excited to share insights from the recent Horticulture workshop on Monday, 4th November, 2023 during the Volta Fair 2023 in Ho,  Volta Region.  

The fair, which spanned from November 26th to December 10th, brought together vendors and exhibitors from six African countries . The exhibition came with a number of workshops. One of such workshops was one on Horticulture,  facilitated by  the Horticulture Business Platform (HBP) team.  

The Horticulture Business Platform (HBP) is part of GNBCC’s  Private Sector Development project which GNBCC is executing with the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

The workshop on Horticulture and its exporting opportunities was organized to encourage interaction between sector players ,potential farmers and the youth who are looking into the export market.

The workshop was moderated by Mr.  Fred Avonyo who is the head of marketing for the Volta Fair. He opened the workshop by welcoming all present and  challenging misconceptions about horticulture, aiming to shift the perception that it is a career exclusively for the poor and farmers in rural communities. His optimistic outlook suggested a positive transformation in these perceptions by the end of the programme.

He went ahead to welcome the speakers and panelists for the program:

Mrs. Mary Esenam Elewokor, Ho Municipal Director of Agriculture;  In her remarks, she clearly stated the challenges in the Agriculture directorate especially when it comes to the provision of extension officers to help farmers in the regions due to budget constraints. She welcomed the need for collaboration with various private sector players to ensure that the horticulture potential in the region is enhanced to the benefit of the people.

 Mr. Samuel Darbah, National Coordinator, Archipelago Project; He shared insights into the Archipelago Project, a 4-month T-Vet program sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy. The program, involving partners like TU Delft and Holland GreenTech, focuses on practical skills, resulting in successful businesses.  He highlighted on the need for farmers to start looking at farming as a business and ensure the use of the right technologies, get the right kind of assistance on the farms and that it is  profitable. He added, “The days where farming was left for the elderly in the society is long gone and there are opportunities in the horticulture sector that the youth have to start looking  at and take  advantage of”. He further elaborated on their 4 month programme and how it takes farmers who want to produce the right way through and get them ready to produce. So far, they have trained about 125 young entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses and therefore call on others to take advantage of these opportunities.

Abdul-Razak Adama, Operations Manager, Maphlix Trust Ltd presented on export opportunities and challenges, emphasizing Ghana's advantages in agriculture. Despite challenges such as standardization and logistics, he highlighted the immense potential of the sector. Whiles highlighting on the opportunities, Mr. Razak adviced participants to ensure that they produce the right kind of products and follow the right protocols in their productions. He added “Knowing the right product to produce and following the right production protocol is the best way to penetrate the  market especially if one is looking into export. According to Mr. Razak, there are a number of times where farmers call him to come and purchase their farm’s products, only for him to find that, either they were not producing the right variety that is needed by their clients or they did not follow the right procedures in the production. He therefore advised participants who want to produce for export to connect with them  and get the right advice before venturing into production.  

Anthony Tamakloe, Executive Secretary, Green Label Ghana Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the HBC: He discussed access to finance and grant opportunities, addressing challenges faced by SMEs. He provided valuable insights on funding options, including grants, accelerator programs, microfinances, crowdfunding, and angel investors. He indicated that, accessing funds or grants is in two ways, while most of the money comes from the funding institutions, it is also the responsibility of the one seeking the funds, to ensure that they have done their homework well. They should keep proper records, pay their taxes, and ensure they have ticked the right boxes before setting off to look for funding.

Barnabas K. Apom, Project Manager at GNBCC: He shed light on the benefits of networking and building the right business linkages and how  HBP plays a significant role in uniting horticulture stakeholders for networking and collaboration purposes. He highlighted the platform's achievements, including sensitization workshops across regions and support for events like the Fruits and Vegetables Fair. He called on participants to be part of this unique  network of sector players in order to keep up to date with activities and opportunities that might be of interest to them.

After the presentations by the speakers, a panel discussion addressed questions and concerns by the participants, concluding with a networking session.

The HBP platform remains open for businesses and stakeholders interested in joining; sign up here.

In closing, our sincere gratitude goes to the Volta Fair Organizing Committee and all participants for contributing to the success of this workshop. Together, let's continue to cultivate growth, collaboration, and innovation in the horticulture sector.



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