22.05.2005 Regional News

Create convenient places for marketing of fruits

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Maknkessim (C/R), May 22, GNA - Professor Samuel Sefa-Dedeh, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, University of Ghana, has urged District Assemblies to create suitable places in markets for the selling of fruits.

Prof. Sefa-Dedeh deplored the manner some fruits especially oranges were dumped on the ground in markets. Fruits are important component of our diet therefore they need to be handled hygienically, he stated. He made the appeal at a workshop on "sugar loaf pineapples" at Mankessim.

The two-day workshop was organised by the Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP), a collaboration of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and German Development Services (DED). Stakeholders in production, processing and marketing of sugar loaf pineapples attended the workshop, which was aimed at using "value-chains" to promote marketing of the product. More

Prof. Sefa-Dedeh said research had shown that exposing pineapples in the sun reduced its vitamin content and weight. "Marketing the product in the open-sun along the highways is not the best," he stated.

Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, Mfantseman District Chief Executive (DCE) said inadequate knowledge on business management had been a major hindrance to increased productivity in agriculture and other sectors of the economy and appealed for support to build the capacity of farmers', fishermen and traders.

He announced that a pineapple-processing factory was being built at Ekumfi Essuehyia to add value to the produce in the area. Mrs Felicia Ansah-Amprofi, Mfantseman District Director of Agriculture, said about 2,000 hectares of pineapple farms had been cultivated in the District and expressed concern about low prices and lack of markets for the produce.

Ms Anja Kuehn, Technical Advisor, MOAP said Ghana's agriculture sector was hampered by high pre and post harvest losses, which resulted in lack of competitiveness in the domestic and export markets. He said the sector could utilise its potentials better to generate significant levels of income.

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