Ms Carola Schouten, Dutch Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality are visiting Ghana between 3-6 February as part of a working trip aimed at tightening partnerships between the countries and developing new cooperation. The 3-day visit will highlight the role of climate-smart agriculture as a solution for local challenges related to climate change, food security and a growing population in Ghana. This will be her first visit to an African country in her current capacity.
The Netherlands is the world’s second-biggest exporter of agricultural produce and has a highly innovative agricultural sector. As a result, there is a strong Dutch private sector presence in Ghana, contributing to food security through knowledge and expertise. Through her visit, Minister Schouten wishes to strengthen this relationship. The Minister also wants to see how the issue of climate change and food security can be tackled for the world’s growing population.
Minister Schouten’s first meeting is with the Ghanaian Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto. The meeting focuses on the strengthening of agricultural cooperation between both countries and discusses the Dutch and Ghanaian vision for the future of agriculture. Holland being the transit hub to Europe and Europe is a top export destination for Ghana, opportunities are discussed for both countries to continue growing together. The Netherlands Embassy in Ghana is already engaged with a multitude of food security programs such as CORIP, SWAPP and Hortifresh, and the minister will be paying visits to these projects in order to be better informed about the challenges and opportunities in Ghana and West Africa. The minister will also be visiting Joekopan, a local vegetable producer and exporter that encourages local economic growth with the help of Dutch knowledge and innovation, after which she will pay a visit to the Blue Skies factory. The minister will conduct a groundbreaking ceremony for the Koudijs factory that will be developed in Tema. Together with Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, she will deliver a speech on the importance of quality feed for the development of the local poultry sector.
Following this, Minister Schouten will continue her trip to Ivory Coast, where she will be meeting her counterparts and the president of the African Development Bank. Minister Schouten will return to the Netherlands from Ivory Coast on 8 February.