THE GHANA Root and Tubers Exporters Union (GROCTEU) has raised concerns about the continuous absence of a national traceability system for yams from Ghana.
The system, the union explained, would allow supply chain actors and regulatory authorities to identify the source of a food safety or quality problem and initiate procedures to remedy it.
In a statement copied to the DAILY HERITAGE, GROCTEU described the traceability system as an information system necessary to provide the history of a product or a process from origin to point of final consumption.
“The absence of an efficient and modern national traceability system for root crops and tubers in Ghana constitutes a formidable barrier to exporters of such agricultural produce, especially to the European and North American markets,” the group said.
According to GROCTEU, root crops and tubers exporters from Ghana are unable to market their produce to the major supermarket chains on the international market because the produce are not traceable and are subjected to food safety concerns.
“This situation has also accounted of the reports of incidents of rejected root crops and tubers from Ghana, as was reported in the national dailies, recently. As a result, root crops and tubers exporters from Ghana mainly market their products to the small corner shops and sometimes from the booths of vans to localized African populations abroad,” the statement said.
The union further stated that it was imperative for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), and other relevant departments to increase their efforts and push for the establishment of a national traceability system for root crops and tubers.
This, they argued, would not only enhance the viability of root crop and tubers exporters in Ghana but also increase the contribution of root crops and tubers as a viable non-traditional export.
They mentioned that it was initiating action under the auspices of the Business Sector and Advocacy Fund to demand a national traceability system for agricultural produce as part of national efforts to facilitate the attainment of key milestones in the National Yam Sector Development Strategy.