The successful Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling Programme (TRAQUE) implemented by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and funded by the European Union (EU) has ended amid pomp and pageantry at commemoration event in Accra.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Designate, Hon. Robert Ahomka Lindsay was full of praise for the European Union with their support and urged all the various institutions and beneficiaries of the TRAQUE Programme to make good of the support they have received.
Since its inception in 2011, the TRAQUE Programme has undertaken various interventions in strengthening the trade and quality sector in Ghana. With a mandate of supporting the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) in private sector development, trade facilitation and capacity building; the success of the Programme has seen it veer into provision of support for safety and quality institutions as well.
Over the past 5 years, state institutions under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Health have received assistance from the Programme. These beneficiaries presented success stories and the impact of the various grants and equipment TRAQUE supplied them
TRAQUE chalked numerous successes like:
• TRAQUE refurbished the Physico-Chemical Laboratory of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and supplied it with state-of-the-art equipment. Tests for mycotoxins in food, Sudan dyes in palm oils and veterinary drug residues in meat products have increased at the laboratory after the support
• TRAQUE funded the Crops Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to develop a farmers’ manual on the Green Label Certification Scheme. This support also included training of 400 fruit and vegetable farmers in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions of Ghana to improve their knowledge on the correct use of pesticides, traceability and waste management.
• TRAQUE has supported the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in addressing basic food safety and quality in the production process of Small and Medium scale Enterprises in order to make them competitive. This has increased the opportunity for the products of some of these SMEs to be accepted by formal institutions and supermarkets in Ghana.
• TRAQUE has supported the Metrology Department at the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) with equipment worth 3 million Euros to improve calibration in the country. Similar support has also been given to the Institute of Industrial Research (IIR). TRAQUE identifies the importance of calibration therefore its support in ensuring that measurements in the country are accurate and traceable to international standards; the ultimate result is that products and services in the country shall be of high quality.
• TRAQUE has provided training support to the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) to improve their knowledge on modern trends on European Union (EU) plant health regime. The Directorate has also been supplied with equipment for pest and disease diagnosis in order to help lift the ban on some vegetables exports place by the EU.
• TRAQUE has trained 200 mango farmers in the Northern, Upper East, Brong Ahafo and the Ashanti Regions of Ghana on Good Agricultural Practices in order to facilitate their access to international markets. These trainings have improved their knowledge on modern handling of pests and diseases, irrigation, crop management and pruning in mango farming.
• TRAQUE has supported the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) to develop a National Quality Policy for Ghana. This will strengthen Ghana’s ability to establish and continually improve the quality of goods and services produced in the country. It will enhance the capabilities of Ghanaian firms to effectively trade both in the domestic and international market.
• TRAQUE funded the Foreign Relations Division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry to draft an Accompanying Measures Strategy for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It identifies and prioritizes projects and programmes which best enable Ghana to maximize the EPA benefits.