Products from local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can compete strongly with products from other countries in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), but MSMEs will need more support from bigger firms to grow, CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority, Delese A. Darko, has said.
According to her, since the FDA launched a scheme to raise the standards of products produced by MSMEs, major retail shops including Shoprite, Koala, and Maxi Mart have agreed to put Ghanaian products on their shelves if they are registered and well-branded.
“We have to showcase what we have. Given that AfCFTA is in Ghana, we cannot embarrass ourselves,” she said at a presentation ceremony for 30 MSMEs on the FDA’s Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS).
The PLS is a certification mechanism aimed at supporting the cottage industry in Ghana to meet the FDA’s required standards for products. A key PLS goal is to have at least 60 percent of products sold in major grocery shops and supermarkets being made-in-Ghana products.
To date, the FDA has registered 1,522 food and cosmetics products and 527 food and cosmetics manufacturing facilities under the scheme.
“We want all the products [produced by MSMEs] that are on the markets to be registered. As many as are manufactured, we want to register them,” Ms. Darko said.
“We hope that some of the bigger industries will support [the MSMEs],” she added.
The 30 MSMEs who took part in the presentation ceremony were selected with the help of the Ghana Enterprise Agency and have successfully completed a series of intensive trainings in good manufacturing practices, effective product labelling and food safety.
The FDA boss said the activities of the beneficiaries will be closely monitored, and they will be given the necessary technical support to ensure their steady progression to the final stage of the licensing scheme.