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Israel-Ghana-Germany cooperate to build capacity of citrus farmers



MASHAV, the Israeli Agency of International Development Cooperation, in cooperation with the German GIZ and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) will be training citrus farmers and technical officers of MoFA drawn from the Eastern and Ashanti regions in a two week training workshop to upgrade their knowledge and enhance their capacity in citrus production.

The workshop, which is intended to revitalize the citrus industry through interventions that will attract investments in fruit processing facilities and ultimately generate higher income levels for the citrus growers; will be facilitated by two Israeli citrus experts Dr. Shmuel Gross (entomologist) and Mr. Dubi Raber (agronomists) who were in the country last year to undertake similar training with some selected citrus farmers and MoFA staff. 

Last year, about one hundred citrus farmers in the Western and Ashanti regions were taken through similar training to increase their knowledge in best practices.  Participants will be taken through topics such as nursery management, planning citrus orchard, cultural practices, and factors militating against citrus production, irrigation and nutrition.

An initiative of a trilateral cooperation between Israel's International Development Agency (MASHAV), Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), and Germany's International Cooperation (GIZ), the aim of the cooperation is to contribute to improved quality citrus production for improved sustainable income to all actors within the citrus value chain and empower citrus farmers across the country.

Israeli Ambassador, H.E Sharon Bar-li remarks that "Israel Agricultural abilities have grown considerably since the Jaffa Oranges became famous around the world and became a primary export for the fledgling Israeli State in 1948. With our knowledge and experience, it is only natural that we accepted the request of our friends at MoFA. 
Agriculture is the backbone of the Ghana economy and we are especially pleased to be contributing into making it a little sturdier."     

According to GIZ, the Citrus Trilateral Cooperation is contributing to solve some challenges confronting productivity levels of the citrus industry and enhance technical competence of MoFA technical staff and farmers in line with the Government of Ghana’s Tree Crops policy. All the interventions will significantly improve the competiveness of Ghana’s citrus industry within the sub region.

Director of Crop Services at MoFA, Emmanuel Asante-Krobea remarks that ‘the Ministry of Food and Agriculture recognizes the potential of the tree crops sub-sector in general and the citrus industry in particular to improve the fortunes of the agricultural sector of the economy and is doing its best to revamp it in line with the tree crops policy of 2012 within the constraints it finds itself.
The Government of Ghana is grateful for the support being provided by the German and Israeli Governments under this trilateral cooperation to improve the citrus industry’.

Ghana's citrus yield currently stands at 20-25 tons per hectare - against an industry average of 70-80 tons per hectare in Israel. Ends

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