An 11 member trade mission from the Netherlands have visited Ghana to explore business opportunities in the country’s horticulture sector.
The trade mission focuses especially on input supply and agronomic advice. The delegation is led by the Netherlands African Business Council; an organisation with access to over 20,000 African and European businesses interested in doing business on the African soil.
The mission members come from a wide range of horticultural technology and knowledge providers. Among these are Simonis Fertilizers B.V who are specialized in the production of mineral-organic and organo-mineral fertilizers. The mission also includes spraying and soil analysis technology companies; Mantis ULV and Agrocares. Bakker Brothers a well-known brand in the seed business with decades of experience also joins in the mission.
Jiffy and OLMIX are companies in the production of environmentally friendly propagation systems and natural sources of nutrients and good health to plants and animals respectively. Delphy, a consultancy company, Solidaridad and HAS University of Applied Sciences are also part of the trade mission.
The mission coincides with the 2nd HortiFresh Business Platform Meeting which brings together key horticulture actors in the fruit and vegetable sector to focus on emerging challenges and outline solutions to make the sector more competitive.
Delivering the keynote address at the Business Platform meeting, the Director Value Chain and Logistics of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Papa Bartels indicated that the “trade mission exemplifies the country’s development agenda of Ghana beyond Aid”. He explained that this can only be achieved through an enabling business environment, trade promotion between countries and business linkages.
He called on the horticulture companies present to make the most out of this opportunity so as to further enhance trade and investment between the Netherland and Ghana.
The Deputy Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Ms. Katja Lasseur said the mission confirms the Netherlands government’s focus on promoting agriculture through private sector participation and investments. She added that the mission clearly echoes the motto of ‘Holland and Ghana growing together’ and hopes the trade delegates find suitable business partnerships in Ghana.
During the event which took place at the La Palm Royal Beach hotel, a Call for Concept Notes for the Vegetable Sector was announced inviting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to submit innovative business ideas to address gaps in ‘Value addition and alternative market arrangements’.
The Business Platform & HortiFresh
The HortiFresh Business Platform meeting is an event organised quarterly to bring together key service providers, producers, processors, traders, wholesalers & retailers in the fruit and vegetable sector in Ghana. These stakeholders provide advice on the course and direction of the Hortifresh Programme in terms of sector activities and how available funding opportunities can be used to improve the sector.
HortiFresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which has prioritized commercial agriculture in its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade. The programme’s mission is to establish “a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food, and nutrition security” in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The programme aims to reach 15,000 farmers and increase their productivity by 20% by 2021.
The HortiFresh programme consists of two components: fruits and vegetables. In Ghana, attention is being given to the fruit and vegetable sectors while focusing on other regional fruit supply chain dimensions in the surrounding countries like Ivory Coast.
The objectives include improving productivity in the vegetable sector; facilitating more efficient markets, including linking vegetable producers and other value chain operators with the Dutch private sector; improving the business climate and further professionalizing the value chain for vegetable production and consumption in Africa. The programme succeeds in the GhanaVeg programme that was successfully implemented between 2013 and 2017.