Business Advisors who have requisite skills in business and serve as the Extension wing of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) will now offer meaningful advice to entrepreneurs.
This is expected to complement efforts made by sister agencies, such as Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and some local authorities.
Mr. Lukman Abdul-Rahim, Executive Director of NBSSI, says manufacturers and processors in Ghana must think and devise new methods in order to remain in competitive business: “There should be a paradigm-shift now,” he stressed.
Mr. Abdul-Rahim was addressing a cross-section of Small and Medium Scales Enterprises (SMEs) in Accra as part of the project titled “Support to improve services to micro and small scales enterprises in the field of food safety and quality management”, funded by the European Union (EU).
Food safety and quality management is a matter of concern to all at a time when indigenous foods are consistently being packaged for domestic and foreign markets.
According to him, the issue of inadequate access to market is one of the most serious challenges militating against the growth of SMEs in the country — which has been traced to poor packaging and labelling, poor finishing, and inability of operators to meet local and international standards. He therefore urged participants to improve on their activities.
The Head of Economic and Trade Section of the European Union in Ghana, Mr. Christian Peters, said the EU attaches great importance to the project and that is the main reason why it co-funded it.
He said the EU used to be the largest trading partner with Ghana but that has been taken over by China. Mr. Peters said a National Accreditation Board is to set up in Ghana to cater for the West African sub-region to certify products from the sub-region to enable it get easy access to the EU market.
He disclosed that the EU is in dialogue with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to see how best to lift the ban on some vegetable exports into the EU. The Director of Women Entrepreneurship Development of NBSSI, Mrs. Habiba Sumani, coordinated the programme.