“We had a number of meeting with to re-emphasise the need for them to do the right thing, otherwise we could find ourselves in a similar situation we found ourselves in 2014, it looks like the warning fell on deaf ears, so we as a ministry in consultations with the plant protection and regulative service division realized that there was a need for us to put in place some proactive measure because we realized the signals were getting really bad, so there was the need for us to put a suspension on the export of these selected vegetables until we realize the right things are done, so that we will not incur the wrath that we did in 2014,” Press Secretary at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Issah Ridwan has said.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has defended the decision to place a temporary ban on the export of leafy vegetables.
The Ministry said the decision has become necessary as a result of unhealthy and unwholesome practices by exporters.
A statement from the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry said Ghana risks a ban by the European Union if the anomalies are not checked.
Issah Ridwan, said numerous engagements with exporters to alter their ways of doing things have proved futile.
Meanwhile, the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana has criticized the blanket ban.
The Association said identifying defaulting exporters and penalizing them is a better option.
The last time the EU imposed a ban on Ghana on the importation of five vegetables, the country lost more than 30 million dollars.
This time around, the ban is on all leafy vegetables and some selected groups of chilli pepper and cucumbers.
Speaking to Citi News the National President of the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Joseph Tontoh, said instead of banning, the government should rather use a traceability system where unwholesome vegetables.
“We are in the business of perishable vegetable, we need a proper cold storage facility to work properly so we can preserve them. We are interested in name and shame instead of this ban on everyone because there is a traceability system which is the best way to deal with this issue,” he said.