Last Wednesday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture hosted a forum to review progress made on the development of a pilot food safety and certification system in Ghana.
Developing a sustainable traceability system was a crucial recommendation that supported lifting the ban on exports of five vegetables from Ghana to the European Union in December 2017.
The event brought together various participants from the Government of Ghana, development partners, farmers, and the private sector.
At the event, the Deputy Minister of Horticulture from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, George Oduro and USAID/Ghana Economic Growth Office Director Kevin Sharp delivered remarks on the importance of developing an internationally-recognized food safety system to strengthen commercial trade in Ghana.
The Forum was organized to solicit feedback from public and private stakeholders on the pilot system. Based on recommendations from audits conducted by the European Union; USAID, in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture developed and piloted the system for Ghana’s horticulture sector.
The objective of the pilot system is to mitigate and identify when and where food safety and quality issues occur.
“Today’s forum highlights our shared agenda to foster broad-based economic growth and trade. Our aim is to ensure that we achieve measurable impact and sustainable results—this means more competitive Ghanaian products being traded world-wide. We know this goal would not be possible without the commitment from the Government of Ghana and both public and private actors,” remarked USAID/Ghana Economic Growth Director, Mr. Sharp.
“As a result of our strong collaboration, Ghana can now resume exporting three kinds of gourds, chili pepper and eggplant to the European Union.”
In Ghana, USAID supports the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to improve access to markets for smallholder farmers, through the U.S. Government’s Trade Africa Initiative.
This initiative strengthens trade relations between the United States and Ghana and improves the sanitary and phytosanitary compliance system for Ghanaian fruits and vegetables.
These efforts include establishing a strong food safety and certification system to identify and track problems along Ghana’s value chains.