The public, including restaurant operators, have been advised to patronise greenhouse vegetables to guarantee human safety and wellbeing.
Mr Abobo Alphonsus, the Upper West Regional Schedule Officer for the Greenhouse Project, noted that with the greenhouse technology, the market was guaranteed of safe vegetables because most of the mineral elements used in production were organic.
Mr Alphonsu gave the advice during a farmers’ field day at Mangu and Charia both in the Wa Municipality of the region.
He said government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and in collaboration with the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Project (WAPP), was championing the adoption of the technology in Ghana.
He said it was to ensure an all-year-round production of certain crops like tomato and others, which could not be produced in that manner due to climatic conditions.
He explained that apart from the use of organic mineral elements in production, the technology also maintained appropriate temperatures both in the day and in the night which further guaranteed both the quality of the vegetables and the health of the farmers working there.
Mr Hudu Abu, the Wa Municipal Director of Agriculture, noted that one of the options for continued food supply was urbanisation of Agriculture through greenhouse technology and hydroponics among others.
He explained that the reason for organising the field day was, therefore, to introduce farmers to the technology so that they could adopt it to help increase food supply.
He said there were so many restaurant operators in the Municipality but unfortunately, these people often get their vegetables from Southern Ghana and neighbouring Burkina Faso to do their business.
Mr Abu called for a stakeholder meeting between the restaurant operators and the greenhouse technology farmers so that they would tell the farmers what type of vegetables they needed and what quantities.
He noted that this would enable the farmers to begin to scale up production to meet their demands.
Madam Veronica Abobo, Lead Farmer of the Charia Greenhouse Technology, attested that the public like the vegetables they produced because of the less usage of chemicals.
She said the project was very beneficial as there was ready market for the vegetables and appealed for the involvement of many other women to help empower them economically.
Ghana import over 120,000 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes every year with much of it imported in the form of past while over 80,000 metric tons of onions is also imported into the country.
This, though unacceptable, is due to the mirage of challenges, including unavailability of improved varieties and seeds; heavy dependence on rainfall for cultivation; difficulties in accessing quality agro-inputs such as fertilizers and crop protection products; slow pace of adoption of new improve technologies; and inadequate hands on agronomic monitoring.
The introduction of greenhouse farming technology will provide farmers access to sustainable farming technology, technical know-how and required technical agro support services to increase yields, improve product quality and secured sustainable market with good price.
In 2016, the Upper West regional Department of Agriculture facilitated the distribution and installation of twenty-Four Green Houses to interested farmers in the region.
The facilities were under the support of WAAPP in collaboration with DIZENGOFF Ghana Limited with the objective to boost vegetable production in the region all year round using the green house farming technology to create jobs for the youth.