The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), with support from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) is assessing the mango value chain to ensure that mango and mango-derived products meet the highest international standards for local consumption and export.
The initiative is being giving technical support by the German National Metrology Institute (PTB), as an implementing arm of the GIZ.
It falls within a bigger activity carried out by GSA which was collaborating with several public and private organisations, to support farmers and factories in meeting quality requirements of the export markets with focus on non-traditional products.
Commercial mango production that started in Ghana in 1997 is said to be more viable than most cash crops being cultivated in the country, as 2, 218 metric tonnes of fresh cut and dried mangoes were exported in 2015 to countries in Europe, South Africa, Israel, USA, China, Russia and Niger.
Currently, 70 percent of all mango produce is traded on the local market as fresh or processed, while 432 metric tonnes were also imported in 2015 to feed some local processing industries mainly in the off season period, as well as 479 metric tonnes of mango juice were also imported.
Ghana’s hold of mango in West Africa is 14 per cent, experts have said.
However, the production of mango which had been described as very rewarding, was noted to be confronted with lots of constraints through its value chain, Mr Samuel Asante Mensah, Director in charge of Agriculture at the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Ghana has said.
During a presentation at a GSA event hosted in Accra, Mr Asante Mensah mentioned some of the constraints as little research support from agriculture research institutions, and very few mango cultivator being grown.
He said the inadequate knowledge of agronomy by many farmers as well as inadequate control of pests and diseases, including fruit flies were some of the constraints confronting mango production.
He however noted that donor partners, including GIZ, USAID and the EU were helping Ghana to deal with the fruit flies, which was a good boost to farmers producing mangoes.
Mr Asante Mensah, therefore called for the need to look for the global hub of training for local farmers, and also ensure that mangoes were bought in weight, not in volumes, to enable producers get real worth of their produce.
Participants and representatives of the Ministries of Trade and Industry (MOTI), and the Food and Agriculture (MOFA), as well as Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), farmers associations, exporters and other industry players attended the GSA event.
Meanwhile a release issued by the GSA has noted that the Authority was working seriously with its partners through various workshops to enable stakeholders learn from each other and understand their roles and responsibilities to make mango-products more competitive on international markets.
Mr. Gaudenz Pfranger, representative of the Swiss trading company HPW, had mentioned that “quality is key to enter in international markets. New opportunities lie in growing demand for healthy food and organic products.”
Professor Alex Dodoo, Director General of GSA, had empahsised the critical role of the Authority in pushing the business of Ghanaian exporters.
He believed that quality infrastructure initiative was critical towards the success of the government’s flagship programmes, the “One District, One Factory” (1D1F) programme as well as the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme.
Therefore, the GSA’s quality infrastructure building efforts was intended to benefit all Districts in the country, he noted.
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