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Blue Skies: Opportunities in the fruits value chain

Blue Skies is world renowned for delivering the highest quality, freshest possible fruit products that are harvested at their optimal maturity, and prepared in the countries where the fruit is grown.

Blue Skies’ network of factories employs over five thousand people in Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil and the UK. They process fruits and make fruit juice for retailers throughout the world. Interacting with the participants of the first Agribusiness Networking Cocktail organized by YPARD Ghana and its partners on Saturday 28th November, 2017 Mr. Alistair Djimatey of Blue Skies pointed out a huge opportunity in the fruits and pineapple industry in Ghana. He informed participants that production for local supply of pineapple is not sufficient to meet the market demand of their products so they have to resort to importing from other countries. Opportunity is therefore available to young people and business entities who want to enter into pineapple production.

He said the industrialization effort of government to establish factories in every district of the country cannot be achieved without agriculture. Agriculture is the only sector that has the potential to employ as many people and also provide the basic necessity of life thus food. He added, “a man who has food has many problems; if you don’t have food to eat you have just one problem”. By that, he meant that we humans have one problem- food security, and all efforts must be made by all to address it.

Mr. Djimati expressed concern about how in recent times every arable land is sold for estate development. This situation has also made land for agriculture very expensive. He, therefore, requested that efforts be made by lawmakers to pass laws that will curb this situation. “If we do not stop the sale of agricultural lands for estate development we would have to learn how to eat concrete as food,” he warned. The market needed for agriculture for instance pineapple can be supplied to school feeding program which creates huge opportunities for farmers.  

Speaking on the absence of Agricultural Science as a subject in the country’s basic school curriculum, He said it is an offense against the next generation for school children not to be taught to understand how and where the food they eat comes from. He advised that it is not good enough for the educational system to place agriculture in the basic school level as a topic but not a subject to be studied practically. He said the current practice in our schools is the reason why students coming out of the basic school lacking the understanding and skills required in agriculture.

He emphasized that the actions required to make agriculture work in Ghana, is to come out with mechanisms to finance our good ideas. Good ideas must wholly be supported to make the necessary impact. There is also the need to connect science with business. Concluding his submission on the way forward in this venture he said, “It can be done and it must be done. But if it is not done, we’re done”.

 

Photo credit: Marcus Peaston (Flickr user)