EU mulls lifting sanction on Ghana’s vegetable export

The EU ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna, said though there is huge market for Ghanaian products in Europe, quality of produce to the European market will not be compromised.

‘The market is there, the consumers in Europe are interested in buying Ghanaian product but you have to get the quality right,’ he said.  ‘And I referred to one of the problems we have had over the last year that there are few vegetables, not all, just a few vegetables were not meeting the right quality of standards.’

The ban was imposed after some vegetables could not meet the quality of standards for the European market.

The vegetables were reportedly worm infested.

He revealed that since the ban was imposed, the EU has been working with local farmers to improve the quality of their product through its trade related assistance and quality enabling programme.

Ambassador Hanna said ‘the good news is that we are working together to try and ensure that they [farmers] do meet the standards. The [trade related assistance and quality enabling programme] project is giving assistance to Ghanaian producers to know what the standards are and to be able to meet them.'

He said he was hopeful that the assistance project will assist the producers to enable the ban to be removed.

The ban has affected foreign exchange inflow, income of vegetable farmers and small farm holders, Alhaji Limuna, Minister of Agriculture has said.

The ban on pepper, aubergines and gourd followed an advice by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the EU.

In an audit report, FVO said “Ghana stands the risk of a ban from the European Commission as a result of improper documentation for exports and presence of pest on produce.”

Fiifi Kwetey, former minister of agriculture, now minister of transport, upheld the temporary ban to streamline activities of the vegetable exporters and to make them adhere to the world standards.

In May, Limuna commissioned an export inspection facilities at the Aviance Cargo Village in Accra.

The facilities are to ensure that vegetables from Ghana met international standards before they are exported to international markets especially to the EU.

Limuna said the facilities would essentially anchor services delivered by the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of MOFA so that Ghana’s plant produce exports would conform to standards set by destination countries.


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