GHANA – In celebration of World Metrology Day (WMD), the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) recently conducted a sensitization program at the Agbogbloshie and Tudu markets in Accra.
The aim was to highlight the significance of trading with calibrated scales and measuring equipment, while also creating awareness about the metrology services offered by the Authority.
The engagement targeted traders, cold store operators, butchers, and market women, emphasizing the importance of accurate measurements in the Ghanaian food system.
Mr. John Opoku Danquah, Head of Scientific Metrology, acknowledged the GSA’s successful collaboration with the formal sector but stressed the need for more engagement with the informal sector.
Referring to the theme for 2023, “Measurements Supporting the Global Food System,” Mr. Danquah highlighted the relevance of the sensitization program in aligning with this objective.
He explained that all weights and measures used in trade and commerce must meet verification standards to ensure fair practices.
“We have had extensive collaborations and we have made a lot of progress but when it comes to the informal sector, we have not done much. Per the law, any weights and measures used in trade and commerce must be verified and once it falls outside the tolerable limits, does not make it fit for use or purpose.
“Basically, looking at this year’s theme, it actually fits into this exercise, so we decided to come to the traditional markets and have interactions with them,” Mr. Danquah added.
Sensitization Activities and Outcomes:
During the program, various activities were carried out, including the verification of cold rooms, meetings with market leaders, exhibitions showcasing the use of scales and measuring devices, calibration of scales, and sensitization sessions with market women.
The GSA team also visited butchers at the Tudu market, offering a free calibration exercise. Out of the 33 scales verified, 30 passed and received the green sticker, indicating compliance with calibration standards.
Mr. Danquah assured those whose scales did not pass that they would receive guidelines on how to get their scales calibrated.
The GSA’s efforts were well-received by the butchers, who were commended for using scales in their trade.
Mr. Danquah encouraged them to continue calibrating their instruments regularly to facilitate fair trade practices. The team then visited the Agbogbloshie market, where they assessed the accuracy of “olonka” measuring cans and checked moisture contents for various grains.
Market women expressed gratitude for the enlightening session, while customers appreciated the presence of the green sticker as a symbol of fair and trustworthy measurements.
The sensitization program not only educated traders and market participants but also instilled confidence in buyers.
Customers like Miss Empton expressed their gratitude, stating that the presence of the green sticker on measuring scales and instruments provided reassurance and ensured fair transactions.
“When I am buying and I see the green sticker on the measuring scale or instrument, I know I am not getting cheated and purchase confidently,” she said.