H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, President of the Republic Of Ghana, On Wednesday 29th January 2020 commissioned the Akumadan Greenhouse Village and capacity building centre in the Ashanti Region.
The facility is expected to equip the youth with knowledge, skills and expertise in crop production through the use of modern systems and technology it equally offer job opportunities for unemployed graduates.
Addressing farmers and students at the grounds, H.E the President indicated that similar facilities have been established at Dwahenya in the Greater Accra Region and Bawjiase in the Central Region, in furtherance of the vision to revamp and modernize agriculture. These facilities come under the Greenhouse module of the PFJ programme, one of the five priorities of government.
The President indicated that, Ghana stands to benefit immensely from the establishment of Greenhouse Villages. The prospect of replacing imported vegetables with local vegetable produce gives a great hope to the country.
It is refreshing to note that, in the next 6-7 years it is envisaged that Ghana could reap earnings of about 1 billion USD from vegetable exports, with the expansion of Greenhouse Villages in all parts of the country. This, the President noted.
According to the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the background to the adoption of the Greenhouse Village concept is dated back when, government inherited an agreement with an Israeli company to help restructure the vegetable sub-sector, with the view to maximizing production through the use of Greenhouse Technology.
The concept of Greenhouse Villages was wholly embraced because of its potential benefits to actors along the vegetable value chain and the economy as a whole.
The scope of work for the project, the Minister said, included Training Centers, Greenhouse Tunnels with automated Drip Irrigation Facility, Pack Houses, Cold Storage, a Maintenance Yard, Classrooms and Dormitory accommodation for visiting resource persons; all laid out on 5 hectare plots at Dawhenya, Akumadan and Bawjiase respectively. The scope also includes building the capacity of 540 youth in Greenhouse Crop Production Technology.
The Dawhenya Irrigation Scheme has since trained 268 graduates already, made up of 188 males and 80 females. Out of the 268 trained, 51 were sent to Israel for a nine-month practical training to sharpen their skills and earn some income for the purchase of greenhouse kits, in order to establish their own greenhouses.
The returnees are expected to demonstrate their willingness and capacity to establish their own farms with some assistance from government. A second batch of 70 graduates from the Greenhouse Training Centre are currently in Israel undergoing similar training.
Back at home it is expected that the benefit of experience gained from training in the Greenhouse Villages will impact the local market by taking over supplies to hotels, restaurants etc.
The added benefit is that food tourism will also receive a boost from the patronage of our local food produce and enhance businesses and incomes.
Story By: Bagbara Tanko (MoFA PRO)