Butternut squash, a vegetable crop, which is grown in the upper East, Upper West and Northern regions is now being considered as an economic crop.
Farmers, who cultivated the crop along the banks of the Black Volta River in the Lawra District of the Upper West region during the last dry season, earned not less than Gh¢ 7,000.00 each at the farm gate, Mr. Sadat Alhassan, Chief Executive Officer of Plus One Investment Limited, said at Wa at the weekend.
He was speaking at a Butternut squash food bazaar, organized by Plus One Investment Limited, a Food Processing company, to promote the cultivation and consumption of butternut squash and its products.
Mr Alhassan said the seed of the crop and its products are believed to contain medicinal properties that could cure certain fatal diseases like prostate cancer.
He said the cultivation of the crop was being promoted by Plus One Investment Limited and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) as the facilitating agency.
Mr. Alhassan asked farmers in the three regions to increase production of butternut so that they could reap the economic benefits of the high demand of the crop in Europe.
Dr Ephraim Avea Nsor, the Upper West Regional Minister, noted that 41,000 hectares had been earmarked for the cultivation of the crop this year.
He appealed to more farmers living along the banks of the Black Volta River to cultivate the crop to improve their incomes.
Mr. Joseph Faalong, Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture, said butternut squash had high nutritional value adding that farmers in the Lawra and Jirapa districts of the region had been empowered to cultivate the crop for export.
Various food products prepared from the crop were served at the bazaar.