Representatives of over 60 Ghanaian vegetables value chain-associated institutions and networks have proposed a Horticultural Support Facility that should be part of a broader value chain policy that will help the local horticultural sector withstand the threats associated with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
This is a call for the establishment of a dedicated funding arrangement to help horticultural businesses meet both domestic and continental vegetable demand, especially for those vegetables that the country has competitive and comparable advantage in producing.
A functional value chain policy for the vegetable sector can facilitate economic growth, improved livelihoods and income as well as improved nutrition and enhanced industry performance. These are critical to achieving food security for Africa’s increasing population, they argued.
Ghana’s vegetable sector is constrained by fragmented value chain linkages and weak coordination amongst value chain actors, coupled with post-harvest issues of underdeveloped storage, processing and market systems. But according to the group, the presence of a workable value chain policy with the right support systems that facilitate trade can revitalise the sector to improve health outcomes, promote food security and reduce poverty.
According to ghanaweb.com, the AfCFTA initiative will launch a single market for Africa in which member countries will liberalise up to 90 percent of their goods trade over a five-year period. The initiative is expected to boost intra-Africa trade, which is presently low, and increase the continent’s industrialisation.