Four-year programme to support Ghanaian fresh fruit exporters

bananasThe Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) are to support Ghanaian horticultural and natural ingredients sectors to access market opportunities in the European Union.

Under a four-year CBI programme, which is to be implemented in collaboration with GEPA, producers and exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables will be offered assistance to establish sustainable trade relations with European importers.

Products to benefit from the two programmes include pineapples, mangoes, papaya, vegetables as well as botanical raw materials and medicinal plants.

Ms Lieke Voncken, Programme Manager of the Centre, said the CBI Export Coaching Project would focus on sustainable export development and export promotion to the European market.

She said 50 producers from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal would benefit from the programme.

She said the number of producers selected from each country would depend on the quality of the proposals received.

“Indeed in this, Ghana can get more producers joining the scheme depending they meet the criteria,” she said after a meeting with some exporters in Accra.

The programme will help to address selected companies internal challenges and obstacles in the business environment.

Ms Voncken explained that the coaching given to the qualified companies would help them overcome their internal obstacles, prepared them and increase their chances of finding European trading partners and thereby increasing their exports.

To qualify for the programme, the company must be at least 51 per cent locally owned, employ about 25 up to 500 employees and willingness and capacity to invest in adaptation of product assortment and production processes, among other criteria.

Mr Stephen Normeshie, Acting Chief Executive Officer, GEPA said the CBI programme would help increase Ghanaian exports to the European market.

He said the coaching would also afford the producers the opportunity to learn and adapt to the demand of the EU market, especially certification for products.

Mr Normeshie lauded the partnership between CBI and GEPA which started since 2008, saying it had helped the Authority to enhance service delivery to exporters, modified the mission and vision as far as meeting the needs of exporters were concerned.

GEPA and CBI have in the past five years implemented a Business Support Organisation Development programme for the benefit of GEPA and the Ghanaian exporting community.

For the most part, the activities centered on capacity building for the GEPA management and staff to enhance their competencies in delivering enhanced services to exporting companies, especially in the area of providing market entry assistance to exporters to access the European market, which is the largest market for Ghanaian exports.

Source: GNA

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