By: Linda Dede Nyanya Godji
The agric sector could be more productive and lucrative, if authorities ensured high standards are adhered to in the food production chain in the country, Mercy Lomo has asserted.
Mrs. Lomo, CEO of Malom Foods, therefore called on the Agric Ministry and all authorities in the Agric value chain to ensure that farmers in the country adhere to best practices in farming, especially by vegetable farmers.
In an Interview with agrighanaonline.com Mrs. Lomo described the situation where farmers follow high standards only when they are producing for export as unfortunate, saying it should be discouraged. She stressed that Ghanaian consumers also deserve produce grown under strict hygienic conditions and best of standards.
“Most often it is only when farmers want to export that they tend to follow best agricultural practices. For instance, with the mangoes from Malom Foods, we are a Global Gab through an association. You cannot export, supply Blueskies or the major fruit factories here in Ghana unless you are a global gab. Global gap is internationally recognized which serves as a code on how to grow the Mangoes,” she stated
Mrs. Lomo believes that the best practices that comes with Global gab and other professional standards should be applied to all farmers or the food production chain across the country, especially with vegetable farmers. ‘There should be frequent monitoring and follow-ups to ensure that farmers who are producing for local consumption are also following standards.
“Best practices should be incorporated into crops grown for local consumption too. For instance, with vegetables grown and consumed in the country, it is like everybody is doing what he or she likes. There is no follow-up and monitoring to ensure that what is produced especially for the local market is done under strict hygienic conditions and best practices”, she added.
She also stated that successful farming is more practical than theory, and urged those who want to go into farming to be more focused on gaining practical experience than just reading about farming.
Farming she reiterated is more practical than theory because reading about plants alone cannot guarantee a successful yield. “If there is something wrong with your plants on the farm, one is likely to find one particular thing that is wrong with the yield but with practical experience, you would realise that there could be other reasons why yields increase and dip in certain seasons“ she added.
“You also need to understand how to feed the plants, what to give them, if you are spraying, you have to be conscious in terms of what you are spraying and at what time; what you are buying to feed your plants or to support your farm, where it comes from especially in terms of chemicals because, in the end, it will be going to the shelves, markets or shops for people to consume. Even with harvest practical skills are needed. You have to make sure you do the right thing and follow good agricultural practices,” she stated