Take advantage of opportunities in horticulture and floriculture – Mona Quartey

By Belinda Ayamgha, GNA

Accra, Sept. 16,
GNA – Ms Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance, has urged Ghanaians,
especially the youth to take advantage of the opportunities in the horticulture
and floriculture sector to create jobs and contribute to Ghana’s economic
development.

She said tourism
and all its sub-sectors, including ecotourism have important contributions to
make to the nation’s economic development, with agriculture, under which
floriculture and horticulture fell, consistently being a major contributor to
the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

She made the
statements at the closing and awards ceremony of the fourth Ghana Garden and
Flower Show (GGFS); the flagship event of the Ghana Garden and Flower Movement,
spearheaded by StratComm Africa.

Ms Quartey, said
while Cocoa, Coffee and Shea Butter were the main agricultural contributors to
the growth of the GDP, flower and vegetables were becoming an important part of
that growth.

“The
diversification opportunity that is offered through horticulture and
floriculture is really important,” she said adding that Ghana had a suitable
climate to cultivate and export flowers as countries like Kenya and Ethiopia
have done.

She said there is a
critical role of the private sector in this regard and urged them to start
considering a value chain approach to developing the sector.

She said government
was committed to creating the enabling environment to stimulate such
entrepreneurial initiatives, with tax rates for businesses involved in
non-traditional exports lower than that for traditional exports.

“I’d like to
encourage our entrepreneurs, especially the young ones: don’t only blog about
it, put your fingers in the soil and plant some flowers”.

Mrs Mawuena
Trebarh, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, who
chaired the ceremony, said the GIPC was very keen on supporting investments in
all sectors including agriculture and specifically horticulture.

She said the GIPC
was committed to continue its partnership with StratComm Africa on the Garden
and Flower Movement to create more jobs from the industry.

“Nothing is more
important than the environment in which we live, in which we work, in which we
grow and nurture our families; supporting the endeavour that StratComm Africa
has put together is extremely important, not just from a commercial standpoint
but also from personal, health and environmental standpoint” she said.

At the event, Madam
Lamley Lamptey was honoured for being the Best Private Home Garden; Interplast
Limited for Best Industry Garden, Akai House for Best Hospital Garden, Accra
Ridge Church for Best Church Garden, Labadi Beach Hotel for Best Hotel Garden,
Ashesi University for Best School Garden and I Garden for the Most Attractive
Exhibitor award.

Ms Esther Cobbah,
Chief Executive Officer of StratComm Africa, urged all participants of the GGFS
2016 to act on the new seeds of innovative ideas they had gained from the
workshops and conferences.

“We must all plant
and grow the seeds of knowledge and wisdom we have obtained here into
income-generating, job-creating and foreign exchange-earning ventures,” she
said.

She commended
sponsors of the show for their support which helped them execute the project,
saying “they have shown that they are organisations that care and are committed
to a better environment for our people and our country.

Ms Cobbah promised
a bigger and better GGFS in 2017, which will be the fifth anniversary of the
Ghana Garden and Flower Show.

“We have already
started planning and we will share our plans with you shortly”, she said and
urged all Ghanaians to join the Garden and Flower Movement.

GNA

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