The Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG) is a national organization duly registered with the Registrar-General. It was established in October 1997 by individual farmers and exporters who came together to produce to raise volumes of export and also to meet quality standards set by our European buyers. The Association started with five people with sweet potatoes, okra, chilies, bird’s eye chilies, egg plants being the main vegetables cultivated.
Membership currently stands at 260, with each member having between 6 to 10 out-growers. Currently, members can be found in seven Regions of the country namely, Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central and Northern Regions. VEPEAG operates a Secretariat in Accra and relates with the regions through the Regional executives of the Association. The main activities and operational areas of the Association are the production of vegetables for international and local markets, supply of seeds and agro-chemicals to producers. The Association provides goods and services to farmers, hotels, restaurants and individuals. Our key suppliers include the rural farmers and MEA International Marketing Ltd of Israel.
Though vegetable production can improve food security and alleviate poverty, the key challenge facing our organization is the lack of capital and other resources to build the capacity of farmers to adopt the use of compost and organic fertilizers, good agronomic practices, good record keeping and effective farm business management during the production of the vegetables. This is a problem as farmers’ continuous use of chemical fertilizers for production as well as inability to follow good agronomical practices, and poor farm business management leads to the production of vegetables that do not meet local and international market standards, ultimately, resulting in poor patronage of produce and low income. The current practice of using chemicals fertilizers for production makes it difficult for farmers to meet the ever-increasing preference and hence demand for environmentally friendly vegetable produce i.e. organic produce, for both local and international markets.