Exporters urged to adhere to quality and food safety requirements

Accra, Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, has urged exporters to pay attention to quality and standards of their export products to become competitive on the international market.

He said it was important for food exporters to consult the Authority and other regulatory agencies for the needed export quality advice to ensure their produce are acceptable on the international market.

In this direction, exporters must acquire the relevant permits and certificates and meet the necessary standards in the destination markets.

Prof Dodoo was speaking at a public awareness event organized by the GSA, in partnership with the German National Metrology Institute (PTB), for all stakeholders to find common answers on how agricultural produce in the country could be made to conform to applicable standards for export.

The forum on the theme: Leveraging Quality Infrastructure as a tool to promote Ghanaian Export, focuses on processed products for export, that increases the competitiveness of Ghanaian producers in international markets and at the same time ensures the provision of high-quality products for the population.

Professor Dodoo said food safety and quality requirements were things that could not be overlooked if Ghanaian producers want to break into foreign markets.

This means that we need to strictly adhere to quality issues and food safety requirement, he said, adding that, the GSA and other regulatory bodies were ready to serve exporters.

Prof Dodoo said, ensuring quality infrastructure services for Ghana’s economy was important because it was the only way by which the outputs of quality agricultural produce, whether for the domestic market or for export, could be guaranteed.

Madam CarolaHeider, Project Coordinator PTB, an implementation agency of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), said the ongoing project aimed at increasing and verifying quality of agriculture products and foodstuffs for export markets.

She said the current project is collaborating with the GSA to implement the programme to strengthen the range and utilisation of services for the quality assurance of agricultural products.

She said the project involved awareness raising of all stakeholders and institutionalized exchange to examine along the value chain the quality infrastructure services necessary to increase the quality of products and to check them competently.

Madam Heider said aside major challenges of the quality of pesticides on the market or the extent and throughput of pesticide residue analysis, most testing and calibration services for agricultural products and foodstuffs in Ghana were operational at a good level.

She said to strengthen exports, the product requirements of the target markets must be well known.

The products have to meet these requirements and this must be verified through internationally recognized test methods here in Ghana, she said.

In contributions during a panel discussion, Mr Davies Korboe, Former National Best Farmer, said policy and systems reforms were required to ensure that agriculture played a key role and a game changer in government’s desire to break reliance on donors.

Mr Prudence Attipoe, Head of Quarantine, said Small and Medium Enterprises must be supported to overcome sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to minimize produce rejection.

He said most farmers were neglecting the various protocols instituted by the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division, which would enable them to export freely without problems, through cost cutting measures.

Source: Ghana News Agency