The Fresh Green Ghana project, a research by the Wageningen University and research, funded by the Foods and Business Applied Research Fund of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), has provided data on safe and accessible greenhouse production in Ghana, to improve on protected horticulture.
The three years duration project sought to obtain insights into the roles of the youth and gender in greenhouse production systems and produce recommendations, for improvement.
Perennial shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables which leads to high prices for the poor, as a result of the failure of open field production, has informed the Fresh Green Ghana Project.
It was aimed at improving all-year availability of affordable, safe fresh vegetables for the poor, modernizing the protected cultivation sector and improving supply chains for the urban poor.
Installed sensors in the Safisana, AgriImpact, Premium vegetables and Urban Jungle greenhouses, being the participation farms provided data, which was scientifically collected on climate, production, pest and disease incidence and further interpreted to find out what contributes positively or negatively to production.
A key finding of the project posits that, there are no systematic differences between the locations in Ghana hence, the use of diffused plastic with good UV protection in greenhouses is a good choice.
Air temperature outside participating greenhouses in the hills North of Accra were found out to have been 2-3 degrees lower than sea level, considered as important, if growth conditions get critical.
It is however recommended that, farms be adjusted to appropriate dimensions, plastics be diffused to reduce direct radiation levels and improve light distribution over canopy depth, which improves crop photosynthesis rate.
It further recommends that, cooling should be done through natural ventilation, fogging and pad and pan forced cooling, for relatively large greenhouses.
Compared to a few years ago, farmers and suppliers appear more realistic now hence, the greenhouse sector is thriving and has much potentials but, additional experiences are needed to make it better.
The Fresh Green Ghana project’s finding and recommendation have been presented at conferences, which brought together farmers, marketers and other key players in greenhouse production.
Details of the project and the recommendations can be found at: