GSA calibrates scales at Makola, Agbogbloshie markets


The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has embarked on an exercise at the Makola and Agbogbloshie Markets to calibrate scales used for measuring quantities of food items, as part of the World Metrology Day recognition. 

The exercise, dubbed ‘Measurements Supporting the Global Food System’ sought to ensure that all measurements are reliable and accurate on the market. 

It also provides the basis for a worldwide coherent measurement system that underpins scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, as well as improving the quality of life and protecting the global environment.

Acting Head of the Scientific Metrology Department-Ghana Standards Authority, John Opoku Danquah, speaking in an interview said: “It is important for marketers to exercise credibility by selling according to weight and measure”.

This, he added, will promote equitable trade in the market.

“It is important that we standardise trading in our market to promote fair trade. It is not just with a consumer getting value for money for themselves, but rather when they sell according to weight and measure it helps them,” he noted. 

“If you buy a product at 50 kilogrammes (kg), and then you sell it according to weight and measure, you are more likely to break-even or make profits; but if you’re going to use your eyes as a means of weighing and measuring, then you are going to be at a lost.” 

Mr. Danquah also urged consumers to look out for green stickers on scales, which indicate that the scale is fit for purpose. And a red sicker shows the scale has not been calibrated, and therefore cannot be used to make measurements of food items on the market.

Furthermore, he appealed for consumers to cultivate the habit of buying their products from marketers who use weight and measure scales to avoid being cheated in the market.

“We also want to encourage customers to make sure that when they are going to buy something they patronise the people using weights and measures. That is the only way we are going to make progress; let’s say one person using a scale and the other not using a scale – I think to encourage them and also to make sure that they do the right thing, let’s patronise those… and by so doing we force them to comply.”

The Greater Accra Butchers Union Chairman, Iddi Issah – who witnessed the exercise, expressed his satisfaction with the scales’ verification. 

He observed that anyone who fails to comply with rules of the union and goes ahead to tamper with his or her scales will be dealt with. 

“It’s a good practice to check the scales, and in this market, we don’t allow anyone to ‘drift’ the scales because it’s not a good practice and the consumers get cheated as well; so if you are seen drifting the scales, you are given a suspension.” 

A patron at one of the markets, Elizabeth Epton, in an interview acknowledged that measuring scales are very important to avoid cheating. 

“At times when they use the scales you assume it’s one pound; but when you get home and check with your own scales, you realise you have been cheated. Meanwhile, when you measured at the market you were assured it’s the correct measurement – so the scales’ verification is good and will not make me feel cheated,” she stated. 

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