Ghana’s fresh chili pepper export industry is set for a remarkable revival due to the progress achieved by GIRSAL and partners in its chili pepper production pilot project using net house technology. The first of four planned trial farms located at Dahwenya, in the Greater Accra region, has shown promising results, demonstrating the potential of this innovative approach.
The project reached a milestone in May 2023 with the successful completion of the transplanting process, under the keen supervision of Mr. Samuel Yeboah, the Director for Agribusiness at GIRSAL. The team has been diligently nurturing the growth of the Bird’s Eye (Demon F1) variety of chili pepper within a 0.4-hectare shade net enclosure, meticulously controlling its growing environment, and protecting it from pests. After six weeks of careful cultivation, the trial has yielded promising results.
These promising developments drew the attention of key partners including Agri Impact, Plant Protection & Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD), the Crop Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Yara Ghana, and the Ghana Vegetable Association. These collaborators visited the site on 7th June, 2023 to observe the development of the crop firsthand and were satisfied with the successful growth of the chillies and adherence to good agricultural practices at the site.
In line with the goal of exporting chilli peppers, GIRSAL is actively pursuing GLOBAL G.A.P. certification, which will ensure the produce meets international quality standards. Training for farm workers is being conducted to align with these standards. The Plant Protection & Regulatory Services Directorate, under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has been involved in ensuring compliance with phytosanitary measures and collecting samples for analysis towards certification.
To facilitate the export process, GIRSAL is also working closely with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority to obtain the required export certification. The initial pepper harvest, totaling approximately 374 kilograms, is scheduled for export to the United Kingdom by the end of July 2023.
The pilot project aims to validate the effectiveness of chili production in net houses, standardize protocols, assess production costs, and promote the export of non-traditional agricultural commodities. With a timeline of 66 weeks, from April 2023 to July 2024, the trial farm project targets a yield of 160 metric tons over the period from the 4-hectare farm, destined for the European Union market.
As part of our ongoing efforts to achieve a total harvest volume of 160 metric tons from a dedicated 4-hectare area for export, we are currently preparing to initiate similar trials in three additional locations. These locations include Ziope, Woadze, and Kyekyewere. These trials will play a crucial role in contributing to our export goals, and we are committed to ensuring their successful implementation.
This project supports GIRSAL’s five-year strategic plan to boost foreign exchange earnings and stimulate the growth of non-traditional agricultural production in Ghana.