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The imposition and subsequent lifting of the ban on export of vegetables from Ghana to the European Union Market has been accompanied with useful lessons for the export sector in particular and the vegetable and fruit export sector in general.
The two year ban has necessitated a more robust regime and a roadmap to ensure that the necessary phyto-sanitary conditions are followed by farmers and exporters right from the seed planting stage through to the last stage of export of fruit and vegetables from Ghana. For example, this has led to the formulation of the protocol for vegetable exports acceptable to the EU market known as Roadmap for Pest Reduction in Ghana’s Export Vegetable sector including certification from the Ghana Green Label Foundation.
The occasion of the GhanaVeg Business Platform Meeting for the last quarter of 2017 was used to launch the Ghana Green Label (GGL) website which is to serve as the official website of the Ghana Green Label Foundation.
GhanaVeg is a Dutch funded programme that supports the commercial vegetable sector in Ghana and it sets the platform for at least one strategic business meeting for stakeholders every quarter. The Programme Leader is Joep van den Broek, assisted by Sheila Assibey-Yeboah.
The GGL is a quality control mechanism that was set up to assure the availability of locally produced high quality, safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables on the Ghanaian market and to ensure that farmers and exporters who adopt the Green Label production protocols have fruits and vegetable plants devoid of harmful organisms, pesticide residues and with the Green Label Certificates can export to Europe.
Outdooring the site www.ghanagreenlabel.org, the Chairman of the Board of GGL, Sam Quarcoo, observed that the fact that the ban has been lifted did not mean that there was going to be a wholesale export to the EU market. According to him, farmers and exporters would have to commit to the implementation of the Roadmap that will ensure that the requirements are met right from planting, harvesting till final export. In addition, vegetable exports from the country need to be Green Label Certified in order to meet the requirements.
“The Protocol that has been developed by Ghana which was the bases for which the ban was lifted, which is in the custody of PPRSD will be adopted in full. And so if you are signed unto our platform and came up with certificate that you are green label certified, it means that you would have gone through whatever it takes to have products that are exportable, including records keeping and everything you shouldn’t have a problem exporting.”
Some certificates were also presented to Agronomy Graduants who had undergone both theoretical and field training with the institution for several weeks.
Currently, Ghana only has just about 2,600 certified agronomists in the country when about 4,000 to 6,000 of them are required to enhance the growth desired in the agricultural sector.
Source: Clement Akoloh || ghananewsonline.com.gh