The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is providing financial and technical assistance to Srighan Farms at Begoro in the Eastern Region to increase production of vegetables such as bell pepper, chilies and assorted Asian vegetables for export.
The financial support is part of the Authority’s Out-grower Farmer support Scheme aimed at supporting farmers to increasing production of yields.
This came to the fore when officials of GEPA and some extension officers from the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) together with Crop Agronomists from the University of Ghana paid a one day working visit to Srighan Farms to participate in a practical field training programme for their out growers in the community. The training was also meant to ensure that export of quality agricultural produce is observed.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Madam Afua Asabea Asare noted that her outfit would ensure that similar financial and technical support are extended to more farmer groups and beneficiaries to increase vegetable production for export.
She used the opportunity to hand over farm inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides procured via Srighan Farms to the Chairmen of Odotobri and Begoro Out-grower Farmers Associations respectively for onward distribution to the farmers; a report on the Authority’s website states.
Officials of the Farm were appreciative of the donation and stressed their willingness to ensure that the investments being made by GEPA through Srighan Farms would yield the required results.
There is huge market potential for chilies and other vegetables in European Union (EU) markets and other foreign markets; thus, it was important that vegetables produced get to these markets in perfect condition. The training comes in the wake of even more stringent requirements in the EU and other major markets.
The event afforded the opportunity for crop agronomy experts and some crop extension officers to train the out-growers in the standard agricultural practices coupled with the right application of pesticides and fertilizers to control crop pests.
Farmers were taken through how to identify diseased plants, various pests and diseases and what to do to control the infestations. These were done through practical demonstrations on the chilli farms of the out-grower farmers.
Srighan Farms is one of the leading exporters of horticultural products in the country.
By Dundas Whigham