The Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker has lauded Ardhi Investment Group, a wholly Ghanaian owned agribusiness startup for investing in Greenhouse farming which is already making waves, providing jobs for the people and producing more vegetables to feed the nation.
“I think what you did here today, started your own company in exactly along the lines of experience, being courageous and very entrepreneurial to go into Agriculture to seek adventure to make your business landed to change Ghana in line with the spirit and nature of this program without the support of HortiFresh is remarkable and commendable”.
He made this known at a ‘Greenhouse Open Day’ event held at Ardhi’s Greenhouse and Hydroponics Vegetable Farm in Akuse on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. The ceremony which brought together stakeholders, partners, consultants, government officials, farmers and all those who matter in the agricultural and food value chain sector in the country and beyond was held on the theme: “21st Century Practices for Maximizing your Yield”.
Addressing the participants at the event, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Ron Strikker touted the achievements of Holland in terms of Horticulture and said: “Everybody here knows of course that the Netherlands is a very important Horticulture country; I think we export every single year more than 10 billion Euros of products. Our total Agriculture export in 2019 exceeded for the first time ever 90 billion Euros equivalent to GHC 550 billion cedis which is a lot of money”, he posited.
He, therefore, called on Ghanaians to emulate Holland and venture more into Greenhouse farming to reap its enormous benefits, adding that, “it is necessary and helpful because you get better to produce, you have a safer production and better quality and above all issues of climate change and the sort of what our planet can bear in terms of food production is sorted”.
He was delighted seeing Ghanaian and Dutch businesses working together to take greenhouse production to a new level.
“The Netherlands is very happy of course to work with Ghana and grow together with Ghana. Hortifresh and all the other efforts in the Agricultural sector in Ghana which we enjoin us here with our partners, of course, make sure that Netherlands and Ghana are growing together in Agriculture”.
While reiterating the Netherlands long-standing support for the agriculture sector in Ghana, he further stated, “Through HortiFresh we are promoting the use of advanced technology and knowledge in the horticulture sector”.
On his part, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in a speech read on behalf of him by Esther Agyekum, the Ministry’s Schedule Officer in charge of vegetables assured of government’s continuous support to work with the private sector and the development partners including Hortifresh in finding lasting solutions to the challenges that confront the vegetable industry.
While congratulating Hortifresh for the effort, resources and keeping the momentum of the industry high, he used the occasion to appeal to Ardhi’s Greenhouse and Hydroponics Vegetable Farm to keep playing a critical role in the drive to promote productivity and quality through Greenhouse Farming.
Greenhouse farming refers to growing crops in controlled environments where the temperatures and water intake are controlled. One key advantage of Greenhouse farming over normal farming is that the farmer is capable of controlling diseases and pests because of the enclosed environment.
A greenhouse gives crops a conducive environment for them to thrive. The controlled conditions make it possible for crops to thrive under minimal disturbance thus affording them an opportunity to produce optimally. Some of the most common greenhouse crops are tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, spinach, and herbs.
According to the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ardhi Investment Group, Akofa Ata, the greenhouse farming increases productivity and for that matter profitable which is why everyone should be encouraged to venture into commercial greenhouse farming.
He indicated that Ardhi and its partners, Greenspan and Profyta have a common purpose to support vegetable growers in the tropical zones of Africa to deliver the highest yields in very difficult conditions, provide them with seeds suitable for tropical conditions, field, and remote consultancy, tutorials on smart-farming and training.
The Greenhouse open day is supported by Hortifresh, a program designed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the aim of prioritizing commercial agriculture as its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade. The mission is to establish a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food, nutrition security in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor| NewsGhana24