According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, 3.4 million deaths worldwide is as a result of low consumption of fruits and 1.8 million diets, low in vegetable. Despite the extensive promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption, worldwide per capita consumption is estimated to be 20 to 50 per cent short of the minimum daily recommended levels of 400 grams a day.
In Ghana, findings indicate, fruits such as mango, orange, water melon and now coconut are preferred by many.
Currently consumption of fruits and vegetables by an average Ghanaian stands at 1.5 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.
High cost of some fruits and vegetables has made its consumption unattractive. Traders at the market confirmed that patronage has been low.
But aside its cost some people say they are concerned about poor farming practices which make consumption harmful to human health.
While many continue to debate on this matter senior research fellow and nutritionist at the Korle bu teaching hospital Rev Dr Tom Ndanu has cautioned Ghanaians consider the production, storage and even packaging of fruits and vegetables before consumption.
Tom Ndanu says fruits and vegetables are essential for every Ghanaian in order to prevent diseases.
He recommended that government puts in place measures to create more awareness on the need to consume a balanced diet.
In 2003, the World health organization lead a global initiative on the promotion of fruits and vegetables aimed at raising awareness to boost vegetable and fruit production and consumption to improve health and increase farmer’s income.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s planting for food and jobs is expected to address the challenges in the sector.