UNIDO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MOTI), has dispatched four international consultants and their local counterparts to selected fruits and vegetables growing sites in the country to acquaint themselves with developments there.
The consultants recently met stakeholders in the countryâ€™s fruits and vegetables sector to exchange ideas on ways to improve the fruit and vegetable value chain and identify areas along the value chain that needs intervention.
Themed: â€śAssessing Innovation Opportunities in Ghanaâ€™s Fruit and Vegetable Value Chainsâ€ť, the forum was funded by the Swiss Confederation, through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The report of the team, led by Frank Hartwich, a UNIDO consultant, will inform the basis of the appropriate course to be taken by UNIDO and government on Ghanaâ€™s fruits and vegetables value chain activities.
The team will complete its mission in three weeks and re-engage stakeholders.
According to Victor Mills of UNIDOâ€™s office in Ghana, the project had been underway since January 2012 and extends its efforts towards the private sector to ensure that the upgraded services are utilized effectively to promote sustainable standards.
â€śIt seeks to ensure that goods and services emanating from or traded in Ghana are designed, manufactured and supplied in a sustained manner that matches the needs, expectations and requirements of purchasers and consumers as well as those of the regulatory authorities in the local and export markets.â€ť
He revealed that the programme additionally seeks to identify areas of intervention in a number of agricultural value chains related to commodities such as fruits and vegetables, fish, wood and cocoa.
The intervention will be geared towards improving export quality, extend value addition and assure compliance with market requirements.
The First Phase of the programme began in March 2007 and ended in December 2011 with specific technical assistance provided to support the conformity assessment institutions in the country in areas of standards, certification, accreditation, and testing.
The objective of the project is to enhance the export performance of Ghana by creating conditions for strengthening supply capacities in selected agriculture and industry branches, establishing a credible conformity assessment infrastructure and fostering integration into the multilateral trading system while strengthening local consumer protection.
Â By Samuel Boadi