Ensure quality vegetable production to EU market - Govt urged

Government must put in place appropriate measures to improve vegetable production and become acceptable to the European market, Dr William Bosu, Head of the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Unit of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has urged.

He said the ban on vegetables to the European Union (EU) market by the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has the tendency to collapse businesses of vegetable producers and exporters.

The Head of the NCD called for broader consultations between MoFA and stakeholders to consider views of the players in the industry to help both parties come out with alternatives to adequately address the issue.

Dr Bosu made the call at a public forum on the topic “Non-Communicable Diseases” organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences yesterday in Accra.

Export of capsicum (a group of chilli peppers), soladum, luffa (a group of cucumbers) and leafy vegetables have been indefinitely suspended from list of exportable commodities from the country due to high level of local interception at exit points although industry players have kicked against the move.

Dr Bosu stressed on the need for the government to strengthen collaboration between agencies and farming communities in finding lasting solution to challenges, as most of them had invested in vegetable production for export.

Dr Dennis Laryea, the Manager of NCD Control Programme at the Ghana Health Service, called for adequate funds towards treatments of NCD and underscored strengthening NCD education to increase public awareness since most people were unaware of the danger to health.

“Significant achievement has been made in regulating tobacco usage in the country, ban on advertising has been very successful towards achievement, increasing intake of shisha among the youth and adolescents endangered their health and immediate action against its use.”

BY BERNARD BENGHAN                            

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