Business News of 2014-08-05

MoFA supports EU ban on Ghanaian vegetables

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has stated that the decision by the European Union (EU) to place a temporary ban on some Ghanaian vegetables was taken at the ministry’s behest.
“We went into an agreement with EU to place a ban on such products after it came to MoFA’s notice that some farmers were not complying with EU regulations”.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra last Friday following the EU’s interception of some Ghanaian vegetables containing harmful organisms, a Deputy Minister in charge of Crops, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, said the ministry had no option but to call for the suspension in order to temporary freeze the movement of such products and also address the situation.
However, he said, fruits, including banana and mangoes, were not affected by the ban.
Ghana was slapped with the ban after the EU intercepted some vegetables containing harmful organisms. The three-month ban is expected to be lifted at the end of September 2014 when adequate corrective measures have been implemented.
However, if there is no change observed after the three months, Ghana will face permanent import restrictions from the EU.
Measures to ensure compliance
According to Dr Alhassan, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) was investigating the reasons for the non-compliance of the EU plant health requirements.
He said the directorate would implement adequate corrective measures to ensure the listed consignments were exported free from any harmful organism.
As part of the measures, Dr Alhassan said MoFA would enforce the Plant and Fertiliser Act 2010 which mandated exporters and other value chain actors of plant products from Ghana to register.
“All agents acting on behalf of exporters shall be registered in accordance with the Plants and Fertiliser Act 2010 (Act 803),” he added.
Dr Alhassan mentioned the inspection and verification of consignments, marketing quality inspection and conformity certification and transport of consignment as measures to be enforced during and after the period of the suspension.
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