The National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) has suspended, indefinitely, the export of Capsicum, Solanum, Luffa and all leafy vegetables to any international market.
The suspension is expected to take effect from June 1, 2019.
A statement signed by Dr. Felicia Ansah-Amprofi, Director Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Food and Agriculture Ministry explained rationale behind the decision:
1. The high level of local interceptions at the exit points
2. The alarming rate of external notifications, we receive at least three notifications a week and
3. The new EU directives to all countries to re-provide dossiers to the EU on the management of harmful organisms on some of the above vegetables.
“Ghana has recently come out of a ban and as such we are still on the red list and being monitored closely. We are only five months into the second year, however, the number of notifications is increasing, and if we are not careful the European Union will ban Ghana again,” the statement dated May 23 said.
Last year for instance, internal interceptions amounted to 162 while external notifications were 53 due to harmful organisms, it said.
The Directorate said it will use the suspension period to address all possible loopholes and challenges before resumption of the export of these commodities.
“We are very much aware of your effort and investment that has gone into this business but as regulators we cannot sit and watch the whole vegetable sector to be banned by EU again,” vegetables and food items exporters of Ghana told.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.