GhanaVeg develops alternative Crops for farmers

Accra, GhanaVeg is in the process of developing alternative export crops for vegetable farmers.

The initiative in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Vegetable Exporters will have crops like curry leaves, Butternut squash and Okra.

Ms Jemima Djah, an Agronomist at GhanaVeg, told the GNA that as part of the development, there would be a guiding manual on the scientific ways of growing the selected crops.

She said it was also to conduct research to help farmers avoid practices that led to the ban on some Vegetables from Ghana to the EU market.

In August, 2014, the EU placed a temporary ban on exports of Vegetable from Ghana to that market.

The ban was put in place after the EU authorities identified that some Vegetables from Ghana did not meet their quality standards.

GhanaVeg had been working with stakeholders in the industry to help Ghana overturn the ban.

Speaking at a workshop to address the current challenges confronting these Crops, Ms Djah said it was necessary for Vegetable farmers to continue to engage themselves in alternative Garmin before the ban was lifted.

“It is also to increase alternative Vegetable export crops, she said.

Dr Eric Cornelius, a Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana, one of the researchers on the project said the objective to develop the manual on crop production and protection protocol, which prevent citrus greening disease and other put on curry leaves.

He said Ghana currently could not export the dry or frozen form of the leaves, the fresh leaves could, however, be exported if they were free of all traces of citrus greening disease.

“The challenge now is to be able to produce large quantities of the commodities with no trace of the disease,” he added.

He said the manual would consist of requirements, planting, field management, harvesting and post harvesting management.

Mr Ken Okware Fenning, Senior Research Fellow and Entomologist, University of Ghana, Soil and Irrigation Research Centre called on vegetable farmers to pay attention to Okra production, since it has the potential for economic development.

He said inadequate knowledge on the selection of appropriate pesticides at different stages was a challenge.

The Research Fellow said the manual to be developed would contain more pictorial presentation with limited text to guide farmers to address all the challenges they face in cultivating these crops.

The manual will also focus on varieties, pest and disease management, suitable location and time of the year to cultivate, crop nutrition, irrigation requirements, yield and post-harvest management, he added.

Source: Ghana News Agency