Ghana will from next week host a team of European Union (EU) Auditors who are coming to appraise the export certification system of Ghana. This is to evaluate and make recommendation to the EU Plant and Food Safety Committee on whether Ghana is compliant with all ISPM for the ban of five vegetable to be lifted. This was disclosed by Hon. George Oduro, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of Horticulture at the inauguration of the Green Label Foundation Advisory Board at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Head Office.
According to the Hon. Deputy Minister, Ghana has over a short period lost about $30 million as result of the ban placed for non-complaints with the UE standards on the export of vegetables to the European Union.
Hon. Oduro, at the inauguration said, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture was therefore happy for the timely inauguration of the advisory board since it has the mandate to take oversight responsibility of ensuring the safety of fruits and vegetable in the market.
The Green Label Foundation is a private sector-led governance structure expected to stimulate investment in the supply-chain modernization and to increase incentives for the adoption of better safety and quality control practice in the fruits and vegetable sector.
Hon. Oduro in his inaugural remarks acknowledged that certification of produce for the domestic market as one of a change needed in the domestic fruits and vegetable market to realise the full potential of Ghana’s Horticulture Industry. Adding that the overall veritable consumption in Ghana is still relatively small compared to the recommended WHO daily intake of 400g/day for good health and well –being and therefor efforts must be made to meet the recommended standards.
Hon. Oduro advised farmers to desist from using swage water or water from the gutter to irrigate vegetables and fruits, this he said poses a serious health threat to the consumer.
According to the Hon. Deputy Minister, the Chairman, Mr. Samuel Quarcoo of Quinn organics and other members on the Board had been carefully chosen, because they have the considerable experience and qualities to redefine the landscape of fruits and vegetable industry and to drive the production and marketing of safe quality and sustainable fruits and vegetables in the domestic market.
By: Bagbara Tanko (PRO MoFA)