The Koforidua Technical University of the Eastern Region would be the showground for the maiden Fruits and Vegetables Fair organised by FRUITVEG, a private and primary agribusiness advocacy secretariat, with the sole aim of promoting competitiveness and growth in the fruits and vegetables sector through a specialised platform.
It is also supported by Veritas Publics, a marketing communications firm dedicated to enhancing market orientation and communications within the agricultural value chain, and works in close partnership with the Ministry of Food Agriculture on Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative, as well the Modernising Agric in Ghana (MAG) Secretariat under the Policy Planning & Monitoring Evaluation Directorate.
The exhibition would feature domestic, foreign food fruits and vegetables farmers, manufacturers, marketers and merchandisers of fresh produce from the value chain, machinery and technology solution providers.
Others include agri-input dealers, agric finance, farmer based organisations, associations, packaging and labeling companies, enterprises of fruit and vegetable processing and cold storage facilities will be on display.
The fair, which is under the theme “Fruits and Vegetables; a catalyst for Health and Economic Development”, is aimed at promoting Ghana’s fruits and vegetables sector and its supporting role in health and economic stability, would start from Wednesday May 8 to Friday, May 10, 2019.
Over 70 suppliers and processors of fruits and vegetables from all regions of Ghana and neighboring fruit markets, representatives of relevant ministries, local and international agencies and organisations are expected to present their products.
Speaking to the media during the launch of the programme, the Executive Director of FruitVEG Ghana, Mr. Chris Kpeh, disclosed that the fair would be an appropriate platform for learning and sharing needed information for exporters and foreign buyers.
According to him, the fair further seeks to establish long-term and reciprocal partnership relations between the fruits and vegetables producers, processing enterprises, and foreign companies, and importers to improve the economic viability of the sector.
“FruitVEG aims to enhance the competitiveness of Ghanaian fruits and [the] vegetables sector, expand the product range, promote business networking, shape the areas of development in the modern economic conditions, and achieve new frontiers in business,” the Executive Director stated.
The FruitVEG Ghana boss continued that the fair would also provide a platform for an array of services, targeted at strengthening the country’s horticulture locally and internationally, through training, conferences, trade promotions, capacity building and other advocacy programmes and initiatives.
The fair will also give room for local companies to present their products to potential investors and partners (locally and internationally), expand their geography and market of agricultural products.
He was of the conviction that the FruitVeg fair would promote new brands, advanced technologies in food manufacturing and sales, and innovative packaging materials.
FruitVEG is an initiative of FruitVEG Ghana and proudly partnered by Veritas Publics, with the assistance of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, International Potato Centre-Ghana, Joy Industries, Joy Dadi Multimedia Group, among other stakeholders.
On his part, the Easternn Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Henry K. Crentsil Jnr, lauded then effort of FruitVeg Ghana, and pledged the preparedness of his office to help make the programme a success.
According to him, the choice of venue was very apt, considering the abundance of fruits and vegetables in the region, leading to the sprouting of fruit vendors in every corner of the Koforidua township over the past few years.
This, he explained, was that the business had gained popularity, and one could see people either selling fruits on table tops or hawking in the markets, lorry stations, around offices, and at residential areas, which has contributed to the socio-economic drive of the people.
The Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology at the Koforidua Technical University, Prof. John Owusu, encouraged Ghanaians to eat more fruits and vegetables to protect their bodies against diseases.
He was, however, quick to caution farmers against the indiscriminate application of chemicals that can be harmful to their products, and charged the Ministry of Agriculture to step up education on the right application of chemicals to farmers