Ghana’s agrofood sector could soon be taken over by the Dutch if farmers in the West African country continue to be indifferent about the sector.
Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Hans Docter, revealed at the official opening of the “Agrofood and Plastprintpack West Africa 2014” event in Africa that some Dutch companies have expressed interest in taking over Ghana’s agrofood sector if Ghana fails to appreciate the business potential in the sector.
“Sometimes, we think that in Ghana, people still don’t believe that agriculture has good business potential: they see it as something traditional, mentally forgotten.
“And I think that is a mistake because there is a lot of money in agriculture and there is a lot of potential to build good business,” Docter said.
He said: “[The] Netherlands is the second largest exporter in the world of agricultural products. So if we can do it, you can do it. And we see that Dutch companies are really interested in this market in spite of the threat of Ebola. And they are looking more to invest in the sector, because if Ghanaians don’t take the opportunities, we come and take the opportunities,” the Dutch Ambassador said.
The agriculture sector, which used to be the country’s number one foreign exchange earner, is gradually becoming less attractive due to lack of funding.
Currently, Ghana’s agriculture sector accounts for about 35 percent of total foreign exchange earnings of the country.
The second edition of agrofood and plastprintpack West Africa which opened at the Accra International Conference Centre had a twin exhibition and conferences on agrofood, as well as printing, plastic packaging and food safety. It attracted exhibitors from European and West African countries.
The exhibitor countries were The Netherlands, Austria, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Korea, Lebanon, Switzerland and Turkey, which presented their latest innovations to highly professional visitors from Ghana and other ECOWAS countries such as Nigeria, Senegal and La Cote d’Ivoire.
The two-in-one fair, which is fast becoming the leading international trade show in West Africa for the thematic sector, is organised by the German trade show specialist, Fairtrade, and supported by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Ghana and Advantage Austria, the Austrian private sector promotion chamber.