Deputy Director of Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Prudence Attipoe, has underscored the National Electronic Traceability System and Early Warning Mechanism’s relevance.
Following a ban on the EU importation of chilli pepper, bottle gourd, luffa gourd, bitter gourd and eggplant from October 2015 to January 2018 when the country was found to be non-compliant with the EU standards on export of vegetables, he said the manual National Traceability System was upgraded to the current electronic form to avoid similar issues in the future.
“When there are alerts concerning products being put on the platform by various stakeholders, especially the EU, it takes time to reach farmers and vice versa – creating miscommunication and delay in receiving information, hence the need to upgrade,” he noted.
“There were always late responses to alerts, which led to no choice on the side of EU than to return exported goods – and this demonstrated lack of commitment from the other side,” he added
While making this revelation at the final meeting for key stakeholders in trade on the National Traceability System and Early Warning Mechanism organised by EU-funded Compete Ghana Programme under the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s auspices in Accra, he noted that alerts received on complaints from the EU market concerning pests on products exported has reduced drastically since communication has become easier.
The Deputy Director further assured Ghanaians of government’s commitments to help exporters in their dealings.
Team lead-Compete Ghana, Nicholas Gabara, also advised exporters to be conscientious and stick to standards of the EU market when exporting.
Mr. Gabara stressed it is the exporter’s sole responsibility to ensure all documentations are in place, and also that all products being exported comply with needed requirements.
“There are always requirements in terms of how much pesticide and fertiliser to use; how things are grown organically and inorganically – and it is also the responsibility of exporters to help farmers comply with these regulations.”
A symbolic handing over of software for E-Trace, Early Warning Mechanism and E-Plyto was done by Compete Ghana with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
About E-Trace and Early Warning Mechanism
The Electronic National Traceability System and Early Warning Mechanism is a system developed to enhance the public’s capacity to keep track of information at every stage of a product’s journey, and ability to provide the right information.