Stakeholders in the implementation of a project to deal with interceptions of vegetable produce from Ghana to the EU market because of harmful organisms have hailed the positive impact of the project on exports.
The stakeholders lauded the contribution of the project in reversing the trend of high interceptions and restoring the hope of farmers.
The interventions contributed to a reduction in interceptions of harmful organisms in commodities exported to the EU market from a peak of 330 in 2014 to 11 in 2020.
According to Dr Victor Attuquaye Clottey, the Regional Representative of CABI, this project was requested by the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD-MoFA) in 2014 to develop a functioning phytosanitary system for the country".
He further explained that the project was executed through a Public-Private Partnership led by CABI using a multi-stakeholder approach involving the government, commercial farmers, exporters and Dutch importers to overcome some challenges of the horticulture sector.
The overall objective of the project was to increase the export of horticulture products from Ghana to the EU through, phytosanitary systems development, good agricultural practices, proper business conduct, infrastructure development, compliance with international standards and knowledge sharing for value chain actors.
On key successes, the Project Manager, Walter Hevi of CABI, said the project worked with other stakeholders to establish an effective phytosanitary system supported by regulatory protocols, standard operating procedures and surveillance systems for the vegetable sector.
All these promoted good agricultural practices in the vegetable supply chain.
It also worked to enhance compliance with production standards, implementation of management systems, availability of technical assistance for certification, infrastructure for sorting, inspection, packing and storage and relations based on proper business conduct between exporters and farmers as well as support the development of a new supply chain of organically certified citrus produce from Quarcoo Initiatives Co. Ltd. (Quin Organics) in Ghana to EOSTA B.V in the Netherlands.