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15, 000 people trained in vegetable farming nationwide

Ankobra (W/R), July 8, GNA – Tikola Limited, a
private commercial company in collaboration with Ghana veg under its
Sustainable Agricultural Project, has trained 300 farmers in the Western
Region, to go into sustainable organic vegetables farming to increase income.

The group has also trained 15,000 farmers
nationwide.

Mr Lorenzo Esmeralda, the Development Manager
of Tikola Ltd in charge of West Africa, made this known when he addressed
farmers at a Fruit and Vegetables Fair at the Ankobra in the Nzema-East
Municipality of the Western Region. 

He said the move formed part of measures to
train farmers to adopt sound farming practices to produce good quality
vegetables with improved hybrid seeds to become more competitive on the global
market.

The fair, displayed samples of vegetables and
fruits such as papaye, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, onion and okro.

Mr Lorenzo said since its inception in Africa
five years ago, Tikola Ltd remained the sole distributor of East-West
International seeds with a focus on innovative services for improved yields to
boost the income of farmers.

He said his outfit trained farmers to adopt
modern technology such as nursing of seedlings and plastic mulching without the
usage of pesticides.

Mr Lorenzo said Tikola Ltd had four model
farms in the Region located at Ankobra, Ankyernyin, Tarkwa and the Ghana Armed
Forces in Takoradi.

Mr Hanson Arthur, the Fund Manager and
Monitoring Expert of Ghana Veg, observed that the vegetable sector had not
received the attention of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture hence had no
comparative advantage on the international market.

He said the vegetable sector must be driven by
innovation through safe vegetable production without the use of agro-chemicals
and contaminated water, hence the need to adopt row planting and good
seedlings, which would inure to inclusive economic growth.

Mr Arthur urged the government to create an
enabling environment and the awareness on planting hybrid seeds to attract the
youth into the vegetable sector to achieve safe production, food security and
food sufficiency.

He said the European Union market had banned
the exportation of vegetables into Europe since 2014/2015, due to the poor
conditions under which vegetables were grown in Ghana.

This, he, said has had a drastic impact on the
Gross Domestic Product.

Mr Arthur commended Tikola Ltd for its
agronomic practices leading to powerful nutrients, which were good for health
and prolong life.

Mr Zakari Musah an Agronomist and Trainer of
Production with Tikola Ltd said in 2011, his outfit noticed that vegetable
production in the Region was very low hence the adoption of four module farms
to train farmers to improve crop yield.

He said most of the farmers had responded
positively and were turning things round to improve their standard of living.

Mr Felix Blay, the Municipal Director of
Agriculture, commended Ankobra Beach Resort and Tikola Ltd for the partnership
to boost the capacity of farmers and helping extension officers to execute
their core mandate.

He said farmers needed entrepreneurs in the
agricultural sector to assist them market their produce.

Mr Blay expressed worry that those who bought
crops from farmers for   export exploited
them, adding that “the share of profits should flow from the farmers”.

Professor Augustus Addai, a former Chief
Research Officer with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, who
chaired the function, said agriculture was one of the focus of the partnership
to better the living conditions of farmers.

Mr Kor Ritsema, the Managing Director of
Tikola Ltd, presented certificates, T-Shirts, a tray of tomatoes seedlings and
two knapsack sprayers each, to the farmers for having undergone the training.

GNA

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