Hon. George Oduro, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of Horticulture yesterday inaugurated a nine member Advisory Board of the Green Label Foundation at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Head Office, Accra. The Advisory Board is made up of the following;
Mr. Samuel Nii Quarcoo -Interim chairman
Mr. Harry Bleppony
Mr. Charles Sackey
Mr. Kwesi Korboe
Mrs. Catherine Krobe-Edusei
Mr. George Abeiku Whyte
Mr. Hanson Arthur
Mr. Kofi Asare.
This activity was carried out in collaboration with stakeholder in the horticulture industry, such as GIZ, Ghana Veg, Ghana standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Quinn Organics, Agro Eco Louis Bolk, Christian Aid, and Edden Tree and Farmers 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. 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.
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.
The Hon. Deputy Minister in his inaugural remarks recognised that, certification of produce for the domestic market is one of a requirement needed in the domestic fruits and vegetable market to realise the full potential of Ghana’s Horticulture Industry.
Hon, Oduro therefore advised farmers to desist from using swage water or water from the gutter and other agro chemicals for the production of vegetables and fruits, this he said could pose a serious health threat to the consumers. Hon. Oduro encouraged the adoption of organic methods to produce health vegetables and fruits for public consumption. He was particularly not happy with the manner in which vegetables and fruits are handled at the local market place. ’At times vegetables and fruits are sold on the bare ground and even in the mud in the market’ he said.
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.
Going forward, Ghana has adopted the Green label initiative and has made it a pre-requite for export of agricultural produce commencing 1st January, 2018, this he added.
By: Bagbara Tanko (PRO, MoFA)