GHANA – The Plant Protection Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) has upgraded its manual traceability system to an electronic traceability (e-traceability), to ensure that products are fully traced through all stages of production, handling and transport/export.
The PPRSD is Ghana’s national institution with the mandate and capacity to organize, regulate, implement and coordinate the plant protection services needed for the country in support of sustainable growth and development of agriculture.
Speaking at a traceability workshop aimed to sensitize stakeholders in Accra, Dr Felicia Ansah-Amprofi, Director of PPRSD, in a speech read on her behalf, said with the implementation of the e-traceability system, commodities could be traced back to its source of production easily in the event of an interception. She said the system also allowed for corrective measures to be put in place immediately thereby minimizing interceptions subsequently.
“It ensures food safety as it allows the country and supply chains to confidently prove that our products are safe and unrelated to any ongoing food safety incidents,” she added.
The Director said traceability helps in mitigating fraud and counterfeiting of food and maintaining customer trust and confidence between an exporter, suppliers and consumer. She informed that PPRSD was currently and gradually enrolling from the manual traceability system, all exporters and their coded-out growers who are registered with the directorate onto the new system “nppo-ghtrace.org” which is live.
“We began with the vegetable exporters and now moving unto the processors,” she said.
She said under the West African Competitive Programme (WACOMP), PPRSD was piloting processed products of cassava and mango and pineapples into fresh cut or dried, in collaboration with Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and funded by the European Union (EU).
Dr Felicia enlightened that following the success of the pilot programme, they will onboard all agri-processors into the system adding that this would give an edge to most of the exporters as they implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Mr. Samuel Dentu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the Authority had since February 2020 been implementing several activities under the WACOMP). The overall objective of the WACOMP programme is to strengthen the competitiveness of West African countries through an enhanced level of production, transformation and export capacities of the private sectors in line with regional and national industrial and SME support strategies.
He said WACOMP programme was designed to assist Ghana to take more advantage of opportunities in the EU market within the framework of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that Ghana signed with the EU. He noted one of the major imperatives of the country’s trade with the EU and with the rest of the world was to improve and enhance their traceability system to support product quality improvement with a view to enhancing market entry activities.