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Business News of Thursday, 30 May 2019

Source: classfmonline.com

New veggie exports guidelines soon

The Ministry of Agriculture has announced that it will soon come out with new regulations on vegetable exports after engaging the farmers, exporters and other industry players on a new policing system which will ensure that vegetables produced in Ghana meet international market standards.

The ministry announced a fresh moratorium on leafy vegetable exports due to incessant interceptions.

Addressing the press in Accra, the sector minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto explained that the previous Mahama administration was reckless at ensuring ethical vegetable production, hence some sanctions imposed on the country.

He explained that the Akufo-Addo government was able to work to have the bans revoked, however, industry players are not abiding by the existing protocols.

“In 2015, October, the EU banned Ghana from bringing to their markets a selection of vegetables because we were flouting all the rules and the rejects were just going up … So, when we came in, we inherited the ban and the EU was prepared to work with the government of Ghana by doing a, b, c, d, and we will lift the ban and the government was very negligent, didn’t bother. We came in within nine months to put all these things in place and the ban was lifted on the 31 December 2018,” he explained.

He added: “We have to protect the new opportunities we have been given, so, we decided to put certain things in place to monitor ourselves and we see that we are going back to the same old ways. The suppliers, exporters are not going according to the regulation. We cannot just sit there for this to happen, so, we put a temporary halt to exports”.

Meanwhile, Dr Afriyie Akoto has also announced a rice production programme with the objective of making Ghana self-sufficient in producing rice, which has an aggregated import bill of over US$1.5 billion into the Ghanaian market.

According to him, the government has earmarked some non-traditional areas for rice production in a bid to boost production in the coming years.