About thirty Agronomists have undergone a Training of Trainers course to equip them with the requisite knowledge and practical exercise to further advance and professionalize the production of vegetables.
The agronomists would transfer the knowledge gain to farmer groups in the vegetable sector.
The training, which was the first in a series to be organized by GhanaVeg, was designed as an on-field experience to run for two to three months intervals between October 2015 and December 2017.
The exercise was spearheaded by three agronomists from the Department of Applied Plant Research of Wageningen UR in the Netherlands led by Mr Herman de Putter.
The training would address some challenges of the agro-ecosystem that hamper the growth of vegetable crops like diseases and pests and how to prevent these challenges.
Mr Putter, the Leader of the three member team, explained that Ghana’s vegetable sector has a lot of potential for both the local and international market but currently faces the big challenge of keeping a positive vegetable image.
He said that “currently, the sector is facing a possible ban of vegetable export to the European Union market due to concerns that the quality of these produce is compromised by pests, diseases and overuse of pesticides”.
“In some cases vegetables at the local market are believed to contain too much pesticide residues,” he added.
Mr Putter emphasized the need for farmers to have proper information on how to control the destructive pests and diseases in order to produce high quality vegetables with a minimum use of pesticides.
He advised farmers that when using pesticides it was necessary to know the target to control, the efficacy of the pesticide and how to prevent residues.
This training of trainers for agronomists is as fallout from GhanaVeg commissioned study which recommended the need for all-inclusive private extension advisors to train farmers.