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Poor packaging hampers Ghana’s exports - by Fast Moving - TracePack

Ghanaian products are unable to penetrate the international market due to poor packaging, labelling, and the inability of export-oriented companies to meet local and international export specifications.

These challenges, according to the Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, continued to militate against the growth of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in the country.

Speaking at a workshop on food safety and quality management in Accra, Mr Abdul-Rahim said despite efforts to improve the regulatory environment for quality of food products, most SMEs had little or no exposure to product quality, improvement, and standardisation.

“Most SMEs are ignorant of domestic and international standards and quality requirements and are, therefore, unable to meet same when they attempt to export their products. This weakness eventually limits their access to certain markets,” he said.

The two-day programme, organised by NBSSI with funding from the European Union (EU), is aimed at enhancing the knowledge base and skills of participants on food safety and quality management.

Participants were made up of personnel from NBSSI, including business advisors, project officers and business development officers, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from the 10 regions of Ghana.

According to Mr Abdul-Rahim, one efficient means MSEs could use to boost their businesses and penetrate the international markets was to invest heavily in improving the quality of their products.

“In a rapidly changing global environment, companies all over the world are not just producing their goods and services to meet local demands but are increasingly focusing on consumer demands in other markets they are selling to. Quality has therefore become a crucial element in entering high-income markets,” he said.

Mr Abdul-Rahim observed that in order for SMEs to achieve product consistency, management of such entities must invest in their products, especially food, and engage the services of technical experts.

The Project Coordinator, Ms Habiba Sumani, said under the Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling (TRAQUE) programme, NBSSI had developed the project to upgrade the skills of stakeholders.

According to her, the project was divided into two components, namely: the capacity building on food safety and quality management and support to MSEs in quality upgrading.

On capacity building on food safety and quality management, Ms Sumani said about 199 participants would benefit, adding that participants would discuss the latest developments regarding best practices and international standards