The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) in collaboration with the Yilo Krobo, Volta and Dange-West Farmers Association and supported by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the National Metrology Institute of Germany, has implemented a CALIDENA process for the mango value chain.
CALIDENA is a participatory methodology developed and implemented by PTB to stimulate quality in value chains and aims to systematically and sustainably support the improvement of the quality infrastructure in developing and transformation countries.
The aim of the CALIDENA process for the mango value chain is to foster quality in the mango value chain and promote exports of processed mango products from Ghana to promising international markets.
To promote local ownership and sustainability, the CALIDENA activities were handed over to the Mango Round Table at a day’s workshop in Accra.
The handing over for the mango value chain project, was initiated by Mr Frank Kofi Nagetey, Deputy Director-General, GSA and Dr Christina Foerg-Winner, Consultant, PTB.
The Mango Round Table is a stakeholder-led initiative that brings together mango farmers, processors and support organisations to foster the export potential of Ghanaian mangoes.
It provides a framework for value chain actors to meet on regular basis and discuss opportunities and challenges.
By taking in the CALIDENA process for mango, the Mango Round Table will also systematically address quality questions and collaborate with GSA to define and implement solutions.
The CALIDENA methodology is based on a rapid participatory assessment of the value chain.
Stakeholders identified quality gaps and addressed the capacities and weaknesses of quality-related services, including certification, inspection, standards, testing and calibration laboratories, referred to as quality infrastructure.
They are also identified quality gaps and activities to improve quality successfully implemented.
The activities included calibration cold rooms at Tema Port, standard operating procedures for calibration of spraying equipment and a pilot study on pesticides quality.
Mr Nagetey said following the handing over of the CALIDENA process for mango value, the GSA in collaboration with the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) and other stakeholders should be able to come out with a group certification for mangoes that were being exporter from Ghana.
“We can adopt whatever standard that we want to satisfy the requirements of the importing countries. And then, we can have a scheme that would be applied to mangoes that were being exported from Ghana. Once we have the standard and a scheme, we should be able to have a certification.”
He urged the Mango Round Table to formally inform the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) of the CALIDENA process for mango and the handing over.
Mr Tony Sikpa, President, FAGE, said the CALIDENA process offered a very appropriate, participatory, objective and transparent process to achieve consensus on what needed to be done, and also allowed ready and easy buy-ins by all actors.
He noted that quality issues, which were necessary for maintaining and increasing market share would feature regularly and prominently in their discussions at the roundtable and on the platform.
Dr Kofi Amponsah Bediako, GSA Director of Corporate Communications, expressed gratitude to PTB for supporting their efforts to ensure that Ghana produces quality fruits for both the local and export markets.
He said the Mango Round Table will ensure that stakeholders meet regularly to share ideas and ensure that fruits produced locally were of high standards.
Dr Foerg-Winner said the mango value chain must be handled in a more sustainable way; stating that, despite them handing over the Mango Value Chain project, they would still be around to provide support and of cause to continue the cooperation.
Madam Marjorie Quist Abdeen, First Vice President, FAGE, recounted that the national Mango Round Table came into being three years; and that it was obvious that one of their basic challenges was in the area of quality and certification.
She said as exporters, these were areas that they had to pay attention to because of the recent banned on vegetables and some fruits.