An Agricultural Marketing expert, Dr. Amos Mensah has bemoaned over action taken by the European Union to ban Ghana from exporting leafy vegetables to other countries.
In a statement signed by the Director of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said the suspension has become necessary due to “the high level of local interceptions at the exit points; the alarming rate of external notifications, and 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.”
Speaking in an interview with Focus FM, Dr Amos Mensah indicated that it was sad for the country to face such a ban again after she got off the EU’s ban list not so long ago. However, according to him the EU cannot be blamed for having to place such an injunction on the country.
Pesticide residue and other contaminants on vegetable consumption in Ghana has been a subject for discussion for some time with intensive research been carried out.
According to him, the big question is why we are allowing farmers go on in their excessive use of these chemicals
”The issue of enforcement is what’s responsible for this current situation. There’s weak enforcement across board,” he said.
”The farmers in their rush to export, export these high level residues in the vegetables. They are just looking at how to make ends meet and will go to every extent without giving themselves to thinking how their action may be detrimental to consumers.”
In his opinion, the issue rests with monitor and implementation of the laws that have been enacted in this regard. He questions what has been put in place as measures and checks to curtail these farmers ensure that farmers who are producing for export understand that the value trade will not be reduced just to suit them.
To him, it’s debatable if there’s clear education and understanding of the appropriate farming practices by the farmers. And that, there actually are some farmers who do know the right things to do however are not doing them.
”As to why these farmers who know the right methods to engage are not going by them is what beats the mind,” he stated.
Wrapping up on the possible sustainable solution to the situation, farmers should be contacted and educated on the repercussions of their actions on the nation’s global reputation as a vegetable exporting country. And these actors should now begin to comply with already outlined acceptable practices for more quality vegetable yields.
“We have to by ourselves regulate our own actions. We do not have to wait to be ban by the EU, before we do what’s expected” he said.
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