Vegetable Producers & Exporters

Association of Ghana

(Capacity building for 100 vegetable producers for enhanced productivity and competitiveness at the marketplace).

Introduction

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.  The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of our farmers in the proper, more profitable and sustainable production of vegetables that meets market standards both locally and internationally.

 

The training of farmers in the Volta Region begun on the 14th of April 2014 at Denu. The service providers were Prof G. O. Nkansah from the Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre Kade, University of Ghana, Mr Cephas Ametepe Agronomist and Mr Sampson Addo, Research Development Officer, College Of Agriculture And Consumer Sciences, University Of Ghana Other Resource Persons present were the District Director of MoFA (Ketu South), Dr F. Akorli (agro input dealer, Herbagreen),district extension officer (Ketu South),, two staff from VEPEAG.


We were to train 25 farmers from the Volta Region on the first day of training 24 farmers showed up of which 20 were male and 4 were female. The second day of training 26 farmers showed up of which 24 were male and 2 women. On the third day 28 farmers showed up, 24 male and 4 women.


Farmers were given theory lessons on good agronomic practices, managing  farm as a business in class room and allowed to bring out some challenges they encounter in the production of vegetables and solutions to their farm challenges provided by the trainers. Each farmer received 3 copies of the manual developed for the training. Field work which is the practical aspect of the training was carried out where each farmer was allowed to take part in every activity on the field.

 

Topics Covered

ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF A VEGETABLE FARM
Major factors to consider:    

  • Site and location  
  • Planning
  • Tools, equipment and machines
  • Buildings and
  • Consumable stores

 

Management of a Vegetable Farm

Management consists of two main streams. They are:

  • Organization of operations
  • Organization of jobs.


Nursery Establishment/Management
Good seeds are a mark of a good beginning in the vegetable production enterprise. It is therefore important to carefully select seeds for nursery. This will encourage uniform growth and also reduce pest and disease incidence.


Harvesting and post-harvest Management

  • Harvesting should be done in the morning or in the cool part of the day using the appropriate tool

 

Conclusion
Farmers were very excited about the training given to them and testify that they have attended trainings upon trainings but VEPEAG/SDF capacity building training gave them detailed practical lessons that could not be thrown away easily. They also appreciated the fact that farming should be viewed as a business and not a way of life.