Ghana has a very high potential for commercial fruit and vegetable production and export. However for the country to access international markets, Ghanaian products must comply with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards. Presently, many vegetable and fruit producers do not adequately adopt recommended good agricultural practices. This results in the production of low quality produce that is often rejected or intercepted in international trade, especially in European Union markets. In 2014, the European Union (Ghana’s major export market) provided an official notice to the Government of Ghana regarding the presence of harmful organisms in Ghanaian horticultural products. These notifications and rejections indicate that capacity and awareness challenges exist not just at the producer level, but also with inspection and export certification. Until the challenges in Ghana’s SPS compliance system are resolved, Ghana’s fruit and vegetable farmers will be constrained in their access to external markets. Capacity building for farmers will ensure that exporters can source quality produce that meets required market standards.
The Improving Food Safety Systems Project (IFSSP) recently conducted an integrated pest management (IPM)-focused value chain assessment on mango and chili . One of the findings of this assessment is that record keeping at the grower level is limited and records are largely unavailable. This is attributed to low levels of capacity in record keeping among most small-scale farmers. Proper record keeping should reflect, at minimum, the varieties grown, planting dates, and other agronomic practices. There should also be records on sources of agro-chemicals, types, and application dates. The technical capacity of farmers will need to be increased in order for them to undertake proper record keeping in their farm enterprises. IFSSP is supporting this effort by deploying volunteer experts to provide training on record keeping systems and small business practices to previously identified export-oriented vegetable producers.
IFSSP is funded by USAID through Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) and implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC). IFSSP will provide market-based solutions to generate buy-in for adherence to SPS standards and participation in a traceability system. The project will also strengthen the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) compliance system for Ghanaian fruits and vegetables, and facilitate collaboration between the public and private sector for active growth in productivity and export trade.
Objectives of the Assignment:
Tasks to be Performed
The tasks to be performed are to develop training protocols and use them for training of producers and ‘training of trainers’ (ToT) for agriculture extension agents. These protocols could cover the following areas:
Review the following documents:
The volunteer is also expected to work on the following with inputs from IFSSP staff before traveling to Ghana:
F2F Programmatic Pesticide Evaluation Report and Safer Use Action Plan (PERSUAP) Requirements:
In view of the fact that this assignment may provide indirect assistance for the use or procurement of pesticides, the volunteer will likely be in the field and may have the opportunity to encourage good practices in pesticide use and discourage bad practices. However, the volunteer is not expected to recommend or provide advice on specific pesticide active ingredients or products. For this assignment, the volunteer must do the following for a Type 2 assignment:
End of Assignment Report and Other Deliverables Required:
Expertise of Volunteer Expert Requested: