Vegetable exports from Ghana worth US$15 million start again
CABI’s work in partnership to improve Ghana’s food safety – or phytosanitary – systems means vegetable exports worth US$15 million a year have started again following the lifting of a ban imposed by the EU in 2015.
Trade was suspended because of concerns about the management of quarantine pests. The ban’s removal means Ghana is once more exporting valuable chilli peppers, eggplants and gourds to Europe.
One farmer benefiting from the lifting of the ban is Ernest Joe Agidi of Ada Irrigation Co-operative Farmers Association, who has a 12-acre farm.
“[This] will allow me to start producing chillies and Asian vegetables for export again. I will be able to make more income to pay my workers, my children’s school fees and also invest in other ventures.”
As part of a €1.8 million project – part-funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the CABI Development Fund and the private sector – CABI and partners are helping to protect the livelihoods of Ghana’s vegetable growers by improving their food safety know-how throughout the horticulture supply chain.
Work includes streamlining inspection and export certification, enhancing horticulture production procedures, improving sorting, inspection and packing facilities, promoting good agricultural practices, and training farmers in quarantine pest surveillance.
“The project has improved the shortcomings in the phytosanitary export certification system in Ghana. The current phytosanitary safeguards are sufficient to ensure that Asian vegetables from Ghana destined for the EU will be free from harmful organisms.” – Ebenezer Aboagye, Head of Crop Pest and Disease Management Division at the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
CABI’s Project Manager in Ghana, Walter Hevi, says that the partnership has brought improvements to the country’s phytosanitary systems.
“An important step in CABI’s overall mission to help end poverty as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”