19 Standards developed for commodities to boost export
The Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) has developed 19 standards for three commodities to boost their export.
The €1.3 million initiative, which ended on Thursday, focused on strengthening the value chain of the three export commodities to enable the actors to meet international standards and promote their market access.
The four-year programme is also promoting 30 other standards that sharpened the compliance of 650 actors within the oil palm, cashew and cocoa value chains.
The GQSP also built resilient infrastructure, while promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.
The Swiss Confederation, through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), funded the project which was implemented in collaboration with the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
At an event to mark the end of the project in Accra last Thursday, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Patrick Nimo, said the Ghana National Accreditation Service had also received valuable technical support under the programme.
He said this had moved the work of the service from affiliate to an associate member of regional accreditation bodies, preparing it for peer review status.
Mr Nimo said the availability of accreditation services in the country would reduce the cost of obtaining such services internationally to enhance the competitiveness of local commodities.
“Through these and other GQSP activities, the tangible effects would continue to be visible in the national economy,” he added.
The Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy in Ghana, Dr Simone Haeberli, said through SECO, Switzerland partnered UNIDO for the past 15 years to strengthen the country’s quality infrastructure system to support sustainable integration into global markets.
“Our partnership with UNIDO and various government bodies involved have significantly supported the improvement of quality standards, particularly in the cocoa, cashew and palm oil value chain.
“The overall goal was to bolster the country’s export capability in a world that increasingly demands for adherence to sanitary and phytosanitary standards, traceability and ultimately, consumer safety,” she added.
The UNIDO Representative for Ghana and Liberia, Stavros Papastavrou, also said the partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry had yielded remarkable achievements.
He said this had contributed to the establishment of a national quality policy; inauguration of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority Market Hub; operationalisation of a public management system certification body, and national inspection bodies securing international accreditation, among others.
Mr Papastavrou said the GQSP had also expanded its ambit by enlarging test scopes and bolstered the certification of SMEs, adding that “it has played pivotal role in guiding the National Accreditation body towards international acknowledgement”.
The ISO Secretary-General, Sergio Mujica, said standards were an essential component for economic and social development.
With standards, he said one could achieve competitiveness, among other benefits.
Some beneficiary partners of the GQSP spoke of how supportive the initiative had been to their respective organisations.
One of such organisations is the Ghana Standards Authority.
The Director-General of the authority, Prof. Alex Dodoo, said the partnership had been one of patience, persistence and perseverance.