21 February 2017. Accra, Ghana. GhanaVeg has certified 20 Agronomists through the Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands, after they completed the Agronomy Training of Trainers course. The Agronomy training has been designed to improve farmer productivity and post-harvest management.
The one-year in-depth training course focused on six key areas including:
- seedling production,
- crop protection,
- spray techniques,
- irrigation and fertilization,
- production planning
- and adult learning.
Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, presenting certificates to the trainees at the graduation ceremony, during the 16th GhanaVeg Business Platform Meeting in Accra, highlighted the role of the private sector in achieving growth.
The Business Platform Meeting was on the theme: “Agronomy and Finance for Sustainable Vegetable Businesses”. He said this was because most agronomists were employed by Ghanaian input supply, wholesale or export companies; they could be the driver for change in the vegetable sector.
He also emphasized that a healthy diet starts with fruits and vegetables and in the coming years Ghana’s vegetables sector would grow faster than the Ghanaian economy, then the population would understand the nutrition and health benefit.
“Through following the steps of the GhanaVeg Course farmers can easily double their vegetable production, while using the same amount of land. It’s all about getting the basics right” Mr Herman de Putter, the Senior Agronomy Trainer, Wageningen University and Research
Financial and other Institutions including Barclays Bank, Exim Bank, Fidelity Bank, University of Ghana, Wageningen University and Research and Green OK made presentations on financing the vegetable value chain, innovative horticultural sector financing, agribusiness value chain financing.
Other presentation related to reduced incidence of harmful pest in vegetable exports, pesticide selection tool and organic fertilizer trials in vegetable. The course assisted the agronomists to train at least 2,000 farmers in their localities; increasing their yields and income.
Already a second batch of Trainers are being trained at the moment; with 30 of them currently enrolled in the 2017 Programme. Together with the first batch they are working with 5.000 farmers. For the coming years a further expansion is envisaged towards 200 vegetable agronomy trainers that are working with at least 15.000 farmers.
Published on 15 Feb 2017: Experiment with vegetables. A good start is with the ‘rainbow formula’.