Ghana Grains Council (GGC) in collaboration with the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC Fund) (an advocacy financing initiative of USAID and DANIDA) is embarking on a month-long advocacy campaign to sensitize members and other stakeholders in the agricultural commodity markets value chain, especially for grains and legumes in Ghana on the need to enforce standards in the industry.
In living up to its mandate of intervening in the grains value chain for quality, productivity and profitability, GGC has earmarked a month-long sensitization drive which kick starts from the Volta Regional capital, Ho, through to Ejura in Ashanti Region, Techiman, Bono East region, Wa and Tumu in Upper West Region, Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region and Tamale the Northern region.
The Ghana Grains Council will engage with major stakeholders (Ghana Standards Authority-GSA, Food and Drugs Authority – FDA) Representatives of the major grains market centres and all value chain actors.
Essence of Enforcing Standards
The Ghana Grains Council (GGC) and the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) have developed standards for grains and legumes such as Maize, Rice, Soybean, Sorghum and Groundnut.
It is imperative therefore for all value chain actors to appreciate the overarching importance of the adoption and enforcement of these standards herein developed by the regulators since apart from the strategic value added services they stand to gain which includes but is not limited to; warehouse receipting, advocacy, and capacity building they also get access to high-end markets and most importantly obtain premium prices.
The GGC realizes that certain key factors militate against the adherence to the set standards set by the GSA, as being either the current voluntary nature of the enforcement and knowledge gap on benefits of incorporating such standards by industry players.
It is therefore against this backdrop that the GGC through her collaborating organizations, i.e. BUSAC FUND, is embarking on this campaign to build capacity, educate stakeholders on the essence of the enforcement of standards since it is invariably in their own collective interest.
Grain standard specification covers the characteristics for the grain and set requirements for three main areas:
3/ Sampling and Test Methods
To wit, each type of grain has its own standards. The standard for maize is different from that of sorghum, soybeans, rice etc.
It is essential to note that compliance to standards will enhance the competitiveness of our value chain actors to have access to high-end markets and ultimately help them to better position themselves to leverage on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
The African Continental Free Trade Area is a free trade area that creates a single market, deepening the economic integration of the continent.
The grain industry can, therefore, tap into markets of member countries within the African Continental Free Trade Area by linking markets to actors within the grain value chain.
Call to Action
Acting Executive Secretary of GGC, Mrs. Emily Boahen, appeals to all members, government, public institutions and stakeholders to collaborate and help facilitate extended market access, influence policy change and also adhere to standards and regulations in Ghana’s grains sub-sector since that is the sure way for increase economic growth and productivity.