Ghana and Ivory Coast: HortiFresh programme launched
The HortiFresh programme is officially launched on the 20th of September in Accra by Deputy Minister for Horticulture, Mr George Oduro, and the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Mr Ron Strikker. The initiative is 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 aim of the programme is to reach 15,000 farmers and increase their productivity by 20% in 2021.
The HortiFresh programme is being implemented by a consortium of Wageningen UR, SNV Ghana, Resilience, SENSE and Advance Consulting. The programme consists of two components: fruits and vegetables. In Ghana, attention will be given to the fruit and vegetable sectors, while the programme will solely focus on fruit in Ivory Coast. The objectives include improving productivity in the vegetable sector; improving access to finance; 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.
Advance Consulting is involved in the access to finance component of the programme. A first case was presented during the launch, as a cooperation agreement was signed between the Fruitmaster, Rabobank Foundation and HortiFresh to develop a 5,000m2 greenhouse in the Volta Region. In the cooperation agreement, the three partners commit themselves to the financing and technical support of high-quality production of tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers for the national market, employing at least 25 new staff that will operate the greenhouse and grading facilities.