August 2, 2018

Madam Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of GEPA Undertakes Familiarization Visit to Srighan Farms (Gh) ltd.

Madam Afua Asabea Asare, the CEO of Ghana Export Promotion Authority on Monday 30th July 2018 paid a working visit to the offices and processing centre of Srighan Farms (Gh) Ltd., one of the leading vegetable exporters in Ghana.
The GEPA team was made of Madam Afua Asabea Asare and Messrs. Erasmus Ashun, Director of Agribusiness, Alexander Dadzawa, Director of Projects and George Adomako Eastern Regional Director.

The GEPA delegation was received at Srighan Farms by Mr. Kan Kanthasamy, the CEO and his team.

Madam Asare who was full of praise for the work that Srighan Farms was doing expressed GEPA’s readiness to facilitate their export business. She said, having recently assumed duty as the Chief servant of the Authority, she is embarking on visits to the exporters to learn at first hand some of their challenges and what can be done to solve them.

Briefing the GEPA delegation, Mr. Kanthasamy thanked Madam Asare for the visit and said his company is currently the leading Ghanaian exporter of vegetables, mainly to the U.K, but they also have markets in France, Germany and are currently exploring the UAE market. He said the absence of Ghana from the U.K. market for almost three years as a result of the EU ban had provided opportunity for competitor countries such as Spain, Italy and others to take a sizable portion of the market. The good news, however, is that Srighan Farms has re-entered the market and is set to recapture Ghana’s position. He said the market always prefers Ghana’s vegetables because of the flavour and everything is being done by his company to maintain the brand. Continuing, Mr. Kanthasamy said the company plans to add Gherkins, a variety of cucumber in high demand on the market, to their range of export produce. The company equally intends to add processing and value addition in order to maximize export revenue.

Touching on some of the challenges Srighan Farms is currently facing, Mr. Kanthasamy mentioned two main ones: The poor quality of produce from the out-growers due to non-adherence to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the inability of the farmers to buy key inputs such as chemicals, fertilizers, quality seeds and traps to control pests. He pleaded with GEPA to assist with training and sensitization of the farmers in order to improve the quality of the Ghanaian vegetable exports.
In addition, he said GEPA should also consider supporting the farmers with inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and pest traps and these should not be provided free of charge. Srighan Farms would guarantee for the farmers and ensure that the monies are repaid by the farmers by deducting from the sales of the vegetables after harvest and refunding same to GEPA. The money that would be collected from the farmers could serve as a revolving fund to support more farmers.

Madam Asare welcomed this idea and indicated that further discussions would be done on the proposal for implementation. Both sides agreed that field visits would be undertaken soon to the out-grower sites of Shrighan Farms in furtherance of the expected assistance.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Kanthasamy conducted the GEPA delegation around the processing facilities of the company where the produce are sorted, cleaned and packaged for export.

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