Mr. Steven E. Hendrix, Acting Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ghana, has noted that the lack of adherence to standards of food exports has blocked influx of revenue into the country.
According to him, Ghanaian farmers produce best horticulture products in the world that if exported could bring in millions of dollars into the country, but lack of adherence to standards had blocked the revenue inflows.
Mr. Hendrix stated these at a stakeholder’s forum in Accra yesterday, to discuss the country’s sanitary and phytosanitary export certification system.
According to him, there was a direct link between the country’s economic health and the safety of its fresh produce, pledged USAID commitment towards supporting the country to improve its food safety systems.
Mr. Hendrix said the U.S government through the Trade Africa Expansion Initiative, was also committed to working with government to improve its trade regime.
“The Improving Food Safety Systems Project in Ghana is a USAID programme, which aims to fortify the plant health and protection compliance system for fruits and vegetables, boost public and private sector collaboration for active growth in exports, as well as encourage greater quality and profitability for key horticultural value chains in Ghana”, he added.
Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), said the policy of the ministry had shifted from just producing for family consumption to producing for exports.
He said the new operational framework was to position the country as an exporting country with high quality produce which is easy to trace its foods to a source.
Dr. Alhassan reiterated the ministry’s commitment to constantly working with farmers and exposing them to modern technology so as to produce high quality foods for consumption and exports.
The forum which was attended by 25 stakeholders was aimed at advancing the country’s food exports.
By Joseph Edu Archison and Rebecca Kajelo