Business News of 2014-08-27

Fruit and vegetable exporters get support

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in collaboration with CBI, an agency of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, has started an integrated Regional Programme to support exporters in the fruit and vegetable sector.

The programme, which is being implemented in Ghana, Benin, Mali and Senegal, is to provide support, especially in the Ghanaian context, to the pineapple sector of the country, as well as fruit, vegetables and natural ingredients.

The event was to ensure that exporters appreciate the Global-Good Agricultural Practices Certification and to increase the level of knowledge on markets and commercial methods in the European Market.

The programme follows the successful completion of a multi-year capacity building programme under the Business Support Organisation Development Programme for GEPA officers and Ghanaian Small-Medium Enterprise exporters.

Mr. Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer GEPA, speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop for vegetable exporters in Accra, called on exporters to pay attention to standards in the industry.

He said stakeholders need to work together to ensure exports that enter into the EU market meet the right certification and standards.

He said, as a country, there is need to inculcate in professional growers and exporters the ability to appreciate standards -- hence the workshop.

Mr. Quarcoo said last year the GEPA launched the National Export Strategy to ensure revenue from non-traditional exports is doubled to US$5billion by the end of 2017.

Mr. Hans Docter, the Netherlands Ambassador, said Ghana has the potential of becoming a large exporter of vegetables.

He urged exporters to use the right applications to meet demands in the EU market.

He called on vegetable exporters to satisfy the domestic market since it is promising, before looking into the international market.

The Ambassador assured the exporters of the willingness of Dutch investors to invest in the vegetable sector of the economy.

Activities being executed under the programme include export coaching, export market intelligence, contact promotion with buyers and strategic conferences toward strengthening the pineapple sector.

It is expected that by the end of the programme exporters would have: enhanced their knowledge and skills in Good Agricultural Practices and marketing; strengthened international competitiveness of exporters in qualitative export market planning and negotiations for entering the EU market; and enhanced access to the EU market for exporters in the target producing area.