Banned Ghanaian Vegetables Return to E.U. Markets
Come January 2018, some vegetables grown on Ghanaian soil would once again find their way to stalls and supermarket shelves in the European Union (EU).
According to the Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, this follows the European Commission’s (EC) decision to lift the existing ban on five vegetables exports from Ghana to the EU.
At a press briefing held in Accra last Wednesday, the minister said “…the ban which was put in place in October 2015, will not be extended on the expiration on December, 31 2017.”
“The lifting of the ban is a testimony to the urgency we have attached to addressing this problem,” Dr Akoto recounted.
For the ban to have been lifted, the minister attributed it to the numerous interventions by the ministry to ensure that the activities and oversights that led to the ban do not reoccur.
He said, “We developed a register of all exporters of plant and regulated plant products and their out growers which is currently updated on weekly basis.”
Amongst other effective measures, the ministry has also enforced a standard operating procedure that has helped in their operations.
MoFA has pledged to remain circumspect and reiterated the need to strengthen and deepen the reforms they have embarked on.
The minister said the Plant Protection Regulatory Service Directorate (PPRSD) would be structured into an autonomous authority to enable them be more efficient.
“We are moving our inspectorate onto the farmers’ field to ensure that what comes out of it meets international standards even before the products leave the farm gate,” Dr Akoto added.
Ghana to Make Millions from Vegetables
After losing about $36 million of precious foreign exchange earnings to the ban, the government of Ghana intends to increase the volume of trade in order to recoup what was denied the economy two years back.
“The vegetable market is the gold end of the market; it is the highest value of the market. A tonne of Cocoa now fetches you $2000 but a tonne of tomatoes or chilli will fetch you $10,000. If we focus in that area, it’s going to yield so much benefit far more than any other group of crops,” the minister explained.
The five vegetable which were banned are; Chilli, Egg Plants, Bitter Gourd, Luffa Gourd and Bottle Gourd.
Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org