INFORMATION ON EXPORT MARKETING AND QUALITY AWARENESS PROJECT (EMQAP)
The Export Marketing and Quality Awareness Project is co-financed by the Government of Ghana and African Development Bank, with a loan amount of UA18.84 million equivalent to USD $28.84million. Project implementation will span a period of five years and is being implemented in four regions notably: Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and the southern-most part of Volta Regions. Project implementation began effectively in January 2007 following the declaration of effectiveness in May 2006 and the subsequent first disbursement to the project in December 2006. The deadline for disbursement is December, 31st, 2011.
Project Goals and Objectives
The project will contribute towards the goal of increasing export earnings of non-traditional agricultural products.
The objective of the project is to increase incomes of horticultural crop farmers, exporters and cassava producers.
The components are:
- Production and Productivity Enhancement
The outputs under this component are:
- Four demonstration farms established one in each of the four project regions to serve as centers of excellence to disseminate modern technologies in horticulture.
- Increased volume of MD2 pineapple suckers and quality seeds of other horticultural crops made available to farmers.
- Increased availability of improved cassava planting materials for farmers in the Ayensu Cassava Company area.
- Production manuals for horticultural crops published and distributed to farmers
- Export Marketing Promotion and Infrastructure Development
The outputs under this component are:
- Accessibility in production areas enhanced through improved feeder roads
- Two common pack houses established in the project areas to improve the stock of cold chain infrastructure.
- Capacity building
The output is:
- Capacity of all stakeholders (farmers, exporters, export trade service staff, MOFA staff, graders, sorters) strengthened.
- Project Coordination and Management which ensures effective implementation of the project
The project is being implemented in the following regions:
- Greater Accra Region
- Volta Region
- Eastern Region
- Central Region
ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
Production and Productivity Enhancement Component
- Four demonstration centres have been established at the following areas: Vakpo in the Volta region, Kade in the Eastern region, Okyereko in the Central region and Amrahia in the Greater Accra region.
- Currently, seven (7) acres of MD2 pineapples; 2 acres at Kade, 3 acres at Amrahia and 2 acres at Vakpo have been established at the demonstration centers. These centers are being used to demonstrate Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to farmers. Technologies and practices that will help to control soil erosion, diseases such as phytophthora and wilt, and practices that will increase yields (planting good quality suckers, sorting and grading of suckers, plastic mulching and recommended fertilizer regimes) are being demonstrated at these centers.
- A total of 484,000 MD2 pineapple suckers have been supplied to farmers. Technical support was also provided to farmers on rapid multiplications of the suckers to enhance the production of quality fruits.
- A fertilizer trial to develop appropriate fertilizer regime for MD2 pineapples in Ghana for was completed and a field day organized for farmers and exporters to share the performance of the pineapples under the treatments. The trial was established to determine the most appropriate form of potassic fertilizer for producing high quality, high yield and the most cost effective MD2 pineapple under local conditions. The trial which was collaboration with the Sea freight Pineapple Exporters of Ghana (SPEG) was conducted on farmers’ fields – George fields at Adawukwa Fianko in the Central Region and Gold Cost Fruits at Otatey in the Greater Accra Region.
In all seven treatments were evaluated, these were potassium sulphate (50% K20) applied monthly, potassium nitrate (46% K20, 13%N) applied monthly, potassium chloride or Muriate of potash (60% K20) applied monthly, potassium sulphate (50% K20) applied fortnightly, potassium nitrate (46% K20, 13%N) applied fortnightly, potassium chloride (60% K20) applied fortnightly and the farmers practice or control; in four replications.
- To facilitate the supply of raw materials to the Ayensu Cassava Starch Company (ASCO), improved cassava planting materials have been supplied to 405 members of the Ayensu Cassava Farmers Association (ACFA) for multiplication and supply to other ACFA members for the production of cassava. So far, 400 acres cassava planting material farms has been established and would be used to cultivate about 4000 acres of cassava.
- Selected varieties of chilli peppers and garden egg seeds are undergoing maintenance breeding to ensure that farmers have access to seeds which are true-to-type and are devoid of admixtures. After the maintenance breeding, the seeds which were found to be stable and have commercial value will be put into the formal seed chain (Breeder, Foundation and Certified). So far 15.5 kg of breeder seed of CSIR-CRI Shito-Adope, a released chilli variety has been produced. 5.2kg of Dwomo, 9.2kg of Oforiwaa and 8kg of CRI-08-02 varieties of garden eggs have been produced for on-farm evaluation.
- Selected vegetable seed producers have been trained in seed production and certification and are expected to go into production using the first progeny of seeds from the maintenance breeding. These producers who have business links with some seed merchants are expected to sell their seeds directly to the seed merchants and producers will be registered to go through the certification process
- Standards for the production and certification of planting materials of Mango, Citrus and Pineapples have been developed and gazetted. Selected Nursery Operators have been sensitized on the gazetted standards.
- A total of 30 nursery operators have been trained and are being encouraged to use the standards to ensure conformity to enable their nursery materials to be certified. This is to ensure that farmers have access to high quality and traceable planting materials.
- Selected mango plantations have been identified and selected to serve as scion banks. These plantations have been designated as such and are currently being maintained according to international best practice for scion bank management. Eventually, they would serve as sources of scions for nursery operators and make traceability possible.
Export Marketing Promotion and Infrastructure Improvement Component
- To improve road network and access in horticultural crop producing areas, a total of 205.1 km of feeder roads are under construction and at various stages of completion in the project areas.
- Exporters and producers have been assisted to participate in International and Regional fairs. This has enabled them to acquaint themselves with new trends and open up new export market avenues. So far 35 persons have benefited and attended fairs in Berlin, Nigeria and Libya.
- To augment the cold chain infrastructure for horticultural produce, the construction of a common user temperature controlled pack house is under construction. Also, two refrigerated trucks (a 24-tonner and 10-tonner) have been procured to be used in carting produce from the packhouse to exit points of export. This is the demonstration of the commitment of the project towards the establishment of a holistic cold chain for horticultural produce.
- To ensure that Ghanaian produce conform to minimum residue requirements, a Residue Analysis Laboratory is being constructed for the Ghana Standards Board. This is to ensure effective monitoring of residue levels in produce.
Capacity Building Component
- To ensure that Ghanaian horticultural crop producers are not left out of the global supply chain, farmers in the project regions are being sensitized on international market requirements for conventional and organic agricultural productions. Specifically, farmers are being made aware of the existing standards which they will be required to conform to when their products are to be exported. The standards include GlobalGAP, Organic (Council Regulation EC. No 834/2007 and National Organic Program of the USA (NOP) and Fair-trade.) So far, 400 farmers (320 males and 80 women) have benefitted from the sensitization.
- Over 320 exporters and processors as well farmer groups are been trained and assisted to develop quality management systems for their operations to a level where they can be considered 70% conformance to any of the international standards.
- Farmer groups who have secured markets through a formal arrangement with an exporter are trained and coached to conform with a chosen international standard to enable them go through third party external audits and eventual certification. Currently, over 240 farmers in various groups are being coached to conform to the organic standard 834/2007
- More than 11,000 small holder horticultural crop producers and exporters (9,020 males and 1,980 females) have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) including post harvest management practices and export management while over 850 Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) were also trained in GAPs to equip them to provide quality services to farmers in the project areas.
- About four thousand (4000) horticultural crop producers have been sensitized on HIV/AIDS and malaria control and prevention. Also, about 45,000 Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on HIV/AIDS and malaria have been printed and distributed to farmers in project districts.