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Danish companies to help Ghana combat postharvest losses

Accra, May 19, GNA – Eight Danish companies in agriculture and logistics value chain have started exploring market opportunities and expanding commercial partnerships with local firms to help Ghana resolve its postharvest food loses.

The companies are Arla Foods, TITAN, Maersk, Cimbria, Danfoss, DanBred, Foss analytics and Orana.

It is estimated that more than 50 percent of production in selected value chains is lost through postharvest food loses and waste before the produce reaches the consumer.

The companies will provide cold chain logistics, transport, food safety and processing, as well as storage facilities, to support Ghana to solve its postharvest loses in return for income and increase sustainable economic growth.

It is to also help Ghana create a more green, safe and prosperous food and agric economy.

Mr Tom Nørring, Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, said: “Through a focus on innovation and learning, Danish companies are well positioned to collaborate with Ghanaian agro-producers to boost productivity and yields for the Ghanaians businesses.”

He added that the Danish companies were eager to meet and engage with the Ghanaian businesses and form fruitful collaborations and close the ties between Danish and Ghanaian companies.

The Ambassador noted that though Ghana had been seeing increases in food production: “Postharvest food loss and waste is a major challenge in Ghana, and it is estimated that more than 50 percent of the production in selected value chain goes to waste.”

He stated that the magnitude of food loss in the country, which had negative climate impacts, was also a business opportunity that could be capitalised on to turn the current loss into value.

He was speaking at a business to business (B2B) meeting between representatives of the eight companies and Ghanaian businesses and other stakeholders in the agric value chain in Accra on Thursday.

Mr Nørring indicated that postharvest losses was partly due to the lack of investments in cold chain, low efficiency in livestock production, and underscored the need for coordination and better regulation.

Mr Seth Osei-Akoto, Director of the Crop Services Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), said, the Government had observed that public-private partnerships had enormous prospects in developing the agric and food sectors.

“It has, therefore, engaged in public-partnerships in the last five years to run its flagship programme, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).

“Under the PFJ, agro-inputs companies have been engaged by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to supply improved seeds, inorganic and organic fertilisers, and agrochemicals to farmers across the country for food crop production,” he said.

Mr Osei-Akoto said the Ministry was at the frontline of modernising the agri-food systems to transform the economy through an agenda called “Investing for Foods and Jobs.”

He noted that despite investments by the Government in the agric sector, majority of the agric value chain, including the food sector remained unexploited.

He urged Ghanaian companies to form strong partnerships with the Danish companies to help drive the agenda of modernising and transforming the food and agric sector.

Mr Bob Sheriffs, Director, Arctic Store, one of the Danish companies, told GNA that: “We’ve seen that there are huge opportunities and demand in cold chain infrastructure and we have a unique solution that will fulfill the requirements in Ghana.”

He added that: “In the last one and half years, we’ve been exploring solutions with a local partner in agro-processing, export and cold chain, which will also provide job opportunities, reduce food losses, and increase the demand for Ghanaian products globally.”

Mr Kwarshie Darkudzi, Chairman, Datsfield Village Farms and Outgrowers, said: “Once they (the Danish companies) come to Ghana to partner those of us who are also on the ground, we will work together and all these will be addressed.”

Mr Darkudzi called on other companies in the value chain to consider investing in solar-empowered technologies to preserve perishable food crops and vegetables.