Agric Ministry introduces e-traceability system to address export challenges on EU market

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is rolling out technology to reduce the rejection of Ghana’s food export commodities on the European Union Market.

Known as the e-Traceability system, it will support product quality improvement for goods ready for export to enhance its market entry.

Traceability means that when a product or service is exported, and there is a challenge, it must be traced back to the origin.

This gives assurance and protection to the consumers in the market to believe that when they consume products from anywhere in the world, they are safe, and even if something happens, they can trace it back and take corrective measures.

Stakeholders say it will develop competitiveness in processed mango and pineapple, cassava and cosmetics and body care products on the international market.

The mechanism feeds into Ghana’s ten-year National Export Development Strategy to increase its non-traditional export revenue to $25.3 billion by 2029.

At a sensitization workshop in Kumasi, stakeholders and industry players observed there have been a lot of efforts into the implementation of the new National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), which was launched in October 2020.

After the European Union banned some fruits and vegetables from Ghana from entering its market, the food and agriculture ministry started manual inspection of goods before export.

Though effective, it had some gaps that needed to be filled.

“We were using the manual traceability system, which was quite cumbersome and therefore the need to go electronic to facilitate the process and so the assistance being given is to enable PPRSD to do e-traceability, which is the electronic version of what used to be done.

“That will be able to facilitate exports and compliance measures have been improved,” the Director Projects at Ghana Export and Promotions, Alexander Dadzawa, said.

The gaps identified in the manual system meant the country lost significant revenue because of its repercussions after the rejection.

“Most exporters just buy from the market or aggregators and export, now when there is an issue you will not be able to trace back where actually the products were produced”, Head of Plant Quarantine Division of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate at MOFA, Prudence Atipoe, said.

“So with the manual system, there were issues, but for the e-traceability system, you could trace back to the exact spot that the plant or product were produced.

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