Investing in Ghana's Horticulture Industry
The government of Ghana has encouraged the development of non-traditional industries over the past decade in order to diversify the country's export base. Horticulture has been a central and a major benefactor of these efforts.
Four main horticultural enterprises can be found in Ghana. They are:
- Vegetable crop production
- Fruit crop production
- Landscape horticulture
- Nursery stock production
The major crops that are mainly produced in the horticultural sector include the following:
- Chili pepper
- Other fruits and vegetables
Production of exotic (European) vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, spinach, tomato, carrot, French bean, turnip, cucumber, beet, and radish is concentrated in and around the principal towns and cities of the country.
The bulk of local vegetable crops such as tomato, hot pepper, egg plant, okra, onion and shallots are produced in the rural areas.
Fruit crops such as pineapples, citrus, banana, pawpaw, mango and avocado are grown commercially mainly along the coastal savanna and rainforest zones of the country.
Many institutions and other private individuals practice landscape horticulture. The practice of floriculture and nursery stock production is done mainly by a few institutions and some private sector concerns.
The industry in the last eight years has seen a total transformation in several activities which have led to the current level of growth. The private sector-led management of sea freight logistics, successful public-private partnership, strategic response to market demands and the diversification of air freight into higher value products such as Asian vegetable and minimally processed fruits have all contributed to the current success in the industry.
The Horticulture Division of the Department of Crop Services is primarily responsible for the promotion and development of fruits and vegetable in general and specifically non-traditional horticultural crops such as pineapple, cashew, black pepper and mangoes for export. It is also responsible for testing technologies developed at the various research institutes for local adaptation. Finally, the Division serves as a link between research institutions and provides high yielding, disease resistant and adaptable planting materials to farmers in the various ecologies of the country.