Agro-processors must comply with standards to improve products -Veep

VICE-PRESIDENT Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur has directed agro-processors to comply with required standards along the food production and distribution chain.

The directive he said was to ensure that foodstuffs sold on the markets were of good quality, to protect the health of the public.

The vice president made the call in a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Kwame Amezah, acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFT) at the opening of an agro- processing compliance forum, held in Accra on Tuesday.

He bemoaned the high level at which foodstuffs were adulterated on the Ghanaian market saying ”it was hard to come by genuine foodstuffs on the market these days because food stuffs ranging from powdered pepper, to groundnut paste, to powdered ‘konkonte’ were mostly missed with one thing or the other ” .

The Vice President tasked the Ministry of Trade and Industry and MOFA to promote effective agro processing mechanisms to curb post-harvest losses in the local food processing sector.

Mr. Ekow Spio-Gabrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, observed that Ghana would not be able to make significant economic gains if it does not manage and bring its agricultural activities under control.

“Today I will purchase Dr. Apostle Kwadwo Safo’s car as he launches it to demonstrate my acceptance of locally manufactured products,” he said.

“The content of Ghana’s educational programme must be changed, because the kind of education being implemented now is not linked to the natural resources of this country, and this has contributed to the high unemployment rates in the country, because tertiary students complete school and have no practical knowledge on how to solve problems in society,” he said

Mr. James Victor Gbeho, president of this year’s Agro Processing Compliance Forum, entreated the public to change their attitudes towards locally manufactured products.

Organised under the auspices of the Millennium Leadership Forum, the agro-processing forum, which brought together stakeholders in the agro- processing network is expected to share knowledge and experiences to create a potent business capacity and a sustainable market space for local and international agro-processors.

The two-day forum aims to develop a communiqué of recommendations and actions which all participants would agree to work with as the basis for the reconstruction of the agro industry in Ghana and other parts of the world.

 By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey 

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