As part of efforts aimed at improving the conditions of farmers in banana production in Ghana, the Ghana Association of Banana Producers has adopted a working manual to enhance the safety of farmers.
The manual, known as ‘Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative’ will also help banana producers in Ghana meet international requirements before exporting to the European Union.
Speaking to Citi Business News after launching the manual, the President of the Banana Producers Association of Ghana, Anthony Blay, said the move will also equip farmers to learn new trends in Banana production.
“The idea to launch this Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative is a step to further reinforce Ghana as a country that is ready to grow in banana production in West Africa”.
He explained that the manual was adopted from Ecuador, which is the leading producer of banana.
“Ghana is one of the countries on the continent that has adopted this manual from Ecuador. This is one of the best safety standards in banana production in the world”, he stressed.
Mr. Blay stated that the ‘Banana Occupational Health and Safety Initiative’ will cater for the environmental safety of the workers, as well as cater for gender issues in farming.
Banana production in Ghana
Banana is a non-traditional export that has the potential to fetch the country millions of dollars if the right investment is directed to the area.
The export of the fruit has seen a steady rise since 2003. According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, banana export from Ghana has grown from about 3,000 tonnes per year in 2007 to over 70,000 tonnes in 2017.
In 2019, the quantity of exported banana hit 90,0000, positioning the commodity as second to cocoa and oil palm in the agricultural produce export. Farmers in Ghana mainly export their produce to the European Union.
This means that there are high standards that must be met before this fruit is allowed into the EU.
In the past, the European Union has placed a ban on many non-traditional exports in an attempt to compel Ghana to meet the strict requirements before such commodities enter the EU zone.
In the West African sub-region, Ghana is second to Ivory Coast in the export of Banana.