The Administrative Manager for Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG) Victor Flow-Mensah says the only way to boost vegetable production in Ghana is to invest more in small scale irrigation systems.
According to him, Ghana has comparative advantage to export vegetables to the global market yet the non-existence of key agricultural infrastructure makes it impossible for farmers to supply the world with the demand required for the European market.
Mr Victor Flow-Mensah made the remarks in an interview with Myjoyonline.com in Accra.
He observed that South Africa and Kenya were the leading exporters of vegetables to the European market even though the two countries have to travel long distances and hours in transporting their produce to the global market.
He said, these countries are able to make significant impact in the European market because there are efficient and systematic structures as well as investment in agriculture which makes it possible for farmers to meet the demand for both local and international consumption.
Mr Victor Flow-Mensah said, as a first step, it is necessary for the government and the private sector to construct small scale irrigation systems for farmers at the Municipal and District Assembly levels in order to enable farmers to increase production of vegetables in Ghana.
The Administrative Manager indicated that such investment could cost 2,500 cedis which could be given to vegetable farmers as loans to be paid back.
Mr Victor Flow-Mensah added that the Small Scale Irrigation System when constructed for farmers will ensure efficient water supply for the farm and will also help farmers to produce all year round so as to prevent them from depending on the rain as a source of water supply for farming in Ghana.
He said “Ghana imports vegetables from South Africa because we don’t have the facilities here to produce all year round. Hotels and supermarkets operating in Ghana import more of these vegetables that are produced here in Ghana “he lamented.
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