Statistics from the Ministry of Trade and Industry estimate between 2013 and 2015, the annual importation of onion stood at $9.3 million and $65,000 was spent on chilli.
For tomato, the widely consumed vegetable in the country, it is estimated about 400 thousand metric tonnes of tomatoes is produced in the country annually.
It is estimated that about 75 thousand metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes are imported into the country from Burkina Faso valued at around $180 million.
Over $100 million go into importation of tomato paste to complement fresh tomatoes.
Reasons for this huge vegetable importation include poor irrigation system, pest infestation among others.
To deal with these challenges, the greenhouses technology for vegetable production has been proposed.
It is estimated a greenhouse of 640 square metre sizes can produce up to ¢60,000 worth of vegetables when best practices are adhered to.
A simple calculation on the farm proves; at least 1200 plants can be contained on the farm with each plant producing at least 5 kilos of vegetable.
A kilo sells at ¢10 hence an amount of at least ¢50 is made of every plant. Multiplying the amount by 1200 plants gives ¢60,000.
Per the calculation, the two cycles can give over ¢120,000 making the business profitable.
A greenhouse farming system involves growing vegetables in controlled environments where the temperature and water intake are controlled.
Due to the enclosed environment, pests and diseases are controlled, while footbaths are adopted at the entrance of greenhouses to prevent infestation.
Treated coconut husks replace the soil as rubber covers the grounds completely.
Through a specially-designed irrigation system, water and other nutrients are supplied to the plants.
“Your fertilizer grades and ratio is taken at every stage of the crop. Through that, you know the crops you have in the greenhouse and that help in irrigation and fertilizer application. So with your calculation, you know when and how the quantity of water to release onto the plant”, Solomon Anom is Enterprise Development Officer for Agriculture firm, Agri-Impact Consult.
Due to the enhanced irrigation system, vegetables can be produced all year round unlike the open farm system which is mainly rain-fed. Pest and diseases are controlled due to the environment and regular visit of the farmer.
Under the Youth in Greenhouse Enterprise Project, a hundred greenhouses have been installed in various parts of the country, employing 400 people permanently and the same temporarily.
The project is funded by the Ghana EXIM Bank and implemented by Agri-Impact Consult, as part of the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Job’ and the One-District-One-Factory programs targets installation of two hundred greenhouses.
A graduate is given a greenhouse to man and pay off money invested into the construction of the houses.
According to Agri-Impact Consult, agriculture development firms, 100 of the facilities are operational producing healthy vegetables for the public and creating income for the youth.
In one of the greenhouse farms at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, I meet Benjamin Frimpong on a ladder to harvest bell peppers held up on strings with a pair of scissors.
The plants are in the advanced stages of their production cycle.
Benjamin, an agriculture graduate from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has already sold vegetables worth over ¢30,000 from this cycle alone.
“If you are willing to do it you can produce more and make good money”, he said in an interview.
Meanwhile, Fresh Logistics, a vegetable marketing company is providing market support including off taking the produce and distributing to shops, retailer and hotels has taken up marketing of produce from the greenhouses.
Dora Akpene Torsu is Marketing Officer at Fresh Logistics, operating under the Agri-Impact Consult.
“Because are plants are protected from the harsh weather conditions, we use very little chemicals on them. There is no dirt on them and people have developed taste for them. The vegetables are really selling fast at our outlets like KNUST”, she said.
- JoyFM’s Doreen Andoh shares how series of unfortunate events led her into broadcasting
- New Land Law: Chiefs will now be held accountable for sale of lands – Kwame Gyan
- Streetism in Ghana is a lucrative business where beggars are trained – PhD student at UG
- BBC flooded with complaints over Prince Philip coverage
- Land guards can now be convicted for at least 5 years – Kwame Gyan
- It’s more dangerous for chiefs to sell land and pocket proceeds under new Land Law – Kwame Gyan
- Non-Akan flagbearer the only way NPP can show its diversified nature to the world – Northern Region NPP
- Women no longer required to come along with a man to acquire land – Kwame Gyan
- Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s tribal comment distasteful – F.F. Anto
- Prince Philip had a positive impact on Ghana – Akufo-Addo
Luv FM collects over 100 pints of blood for KATH Blood Bank
We’ve become too corrupt as a country that nobody accepts that you can do something genuinely – Joe Osei Owusu
New Land Law: Government has 6 months to decide how to use vested lands
Real Madrid go top of La Liga with narrow win over Barcelona in El Clasico
Hearts of Oak suffer first defeat under coach Samuel Boadu
Ghana to fully benefit from land reforms in 20 years – Kwame Gyan
Basis for media censorship must be clarified – Jesse Agyepong
Soldiers, police deployed to Chereponi following chieftaincy dispute
Liverpool score late winner to beat Aston Villa
Ayew scores to equal record as Swansea win
Ten-man Leeds beat Premier League leaders Man City
Bayern’s Bundesliga lead cut to five points after draw
What it means to be an ‘emotionally strong woman’ in relationships
Greek journalist shot dead on the street in Athens
Women no longer required to come along with a man to acquire land – Kwame Gyan