A 23-member trade delegation from Ghana is currently on a week-long tour through the Netherlands to explore opportunities for business and cooperation in food processing technologies and packaging.

The mission is led by the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and GhanaVeg.

The goal of the trade mission is to promote cooperation, investment and knowledge exchange between Ghanaian and Dutch businesses. The delegation is visiting a wide range of companies in the Netherlands active in poultry, aquaculture, fruit and vegetables processing.

The program is complemented with matchmaking, a visit to the Interpak fair in Düsseldorf, business networking events and a packaging workshop. The trade mission follows after a mission last year to the Netherlands on food and beverage processing and agricultural inputs.

The mission complements the efforts of the Netherlands on private sector development in Ghana’s agricultural sector, a sector accounting for over 20% of Ghana’s GDP.

Stimulating food processing could help reduce post-harvest losses and contribute to increased trade in products less dependent on cold chains and phytosanitary inspection.

The Netherlands is among Ghana’s biggest trade partners and the second largest exporter of agri-food worldwide, exporting 65 billion euros worth of vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat and dairy products each year.

The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker said, “This trade mission resonates well with the government’s renewed focus on promoting agriculture, value addition and industrialization. The mission is yet another example of how the Netherlands and Ghana are growing together.”

CEO of Private Enterprises Federation (PEF), Nana Osei Bonsu, said, “It is our hope that the Ghanaian companies participating in this trade mission will not only receive accurate information on availability of new markets and valuable networking opportunities from participants from the Netherlands and other partaking countries but may also be privileged with viable partnerships including financing and innovative technologies to enhance their businesses in the near future.”

For Seth Twum-Akwaboah who is the CEO of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the exposure is most appropriate for AGI members in the wake of government of Ghana’s numerous initiatives to support the growth of the industrial sector and ensuring stronger linkage between industry and agriculture.

For Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, Deputy Program Leader for GhanaVeg, “The mission resonates with what GhanaVeg seeks to achieve: a sector that is driven and led by private actors.

"To achieve this goal, there is a need for deliberate aggregation of sector actors to broker new and sustainable business relationships that will transcend into a more vibrant and innovative horticultural sector, which this trade mission aims to realise," she said.

She added that the mission has come at such an opportune time for Ghanaian horticultural businesses to learn and collaborate from their counterparts in the Netherlands.

The trade mission is commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and implemented by the Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council (GNBCC) and the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC).