President Commissions Greenhouse Village at Akumadan
President Nana Akufo-Addo has commissioned the Akumadan Greenhouse Capacity Building and Commercial Centre in the Offinso North District of the Ashanti Region.
Date Created : 1/31/2020 3:19:10 AM : Story Author : Emmanuel Buorokuu/Ghanadistricts.com
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony the President said the background to the adoption of the Greenhouse Village concept is that, the government inherited an agreement with an Israeli company to help restructure the vegetable sub-sector, with the view to maximizing production through the use of Greenhouse Technology.
He recounted that similar facilities have been established at Dwahenya in the Greater Accra Region and Bawjiase in the Central Region, in furtherance of the vision to revamp and modernize agriculture.
These facilities, the President said, come under the Greenhouse module of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, one of the five priorities of the government.
Nana Akkufo Addo stated that the concept of Greenhouse Villages was wholly embraced because of its potential benefits to actors along the vegetable value chain and the economy as a whole.
He explained that “Under the agreement, the government was to construct three Greenhouse Villages with the option of adding two after completion”.
According to the President, the contract for the construction of the Greenhouse Training Centres was awarded in 2015 at the cost of $19.7 million to Messrs. Agritop Limited, an Israeli company with expertise in Greenhouse construction.
He said the scope of work for this project includes the construction of Training Centers, Greenhouse Tunnels complete with automated Drip Irrigation Facility, Pack Houses, Cold Storage, a Maintenance Yard, Classrooms and Dormitory accommodation for visiting resource persons; all laid out on 5-hectare plots at Dawhenya, Akumadan, and Bawjiase respectively.
He added that the scope also includes building the capacity of 540 youth in Greenhouse Crop Production Technology saying “Provision is also made for 18 training sessions throughout the duration with 30 students to be trained per session,”
The objectives for training our youth in this Greenhouse Crop Production Technology are to equip the youth with knowledge, skills and expertise in crop production through the use of modern systems and technology, Create jobs for unemployed graduates, Facilitate the development of the complete value chain of vegetable producers, aggregators, seed suppliers, input dealers, transporters and produce distributors, to produce quality and fresh vegetables for urban dwellers in Kumasi, Accra and Tema, and also for export throughout the year.
The President said, the first Centre constructed on the Dawhenya Irrigation Scheme has trained 268 graduates already, made up of 188 males and 80 females.
According to the President, out of the 268 trained, 51 were sent to Israel for a nine-month practical training to sharpen their skills and earn some income for the purchase of greenhouse kits, in order to establish their own greenhouse.
He said the returnees are expected to demonstrate their willingness and capacity to establish their own farms with some assistance from the government. The second batch of 70 graduates from the Greenhouse Training Centre is currently in Israel undergoing similar training.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of STL Africa Ltd, developers of the greenhouse technology, Mr. Herzi Makmal, said the company was proud to be part of a programme that promoted the development of agriculture in the country.