United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Visits GPHA
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Team Visits GPHA

Nov 08 2023

A team from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has paid a working visit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to engage the authority on a number of issues that affect trade.

The team is in Ghana to meet key institutions to understand Ghana’s approach to the generation of agricultural and related trade statistics to support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

The team was received by the Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje.

Issues discussed centered on how agricultural products are collected, challenges in collecting data, and how data is streamlined.

The USDA team believes, the information gathered will assist them come up with a report that will provide recommendations to serve the interest in participating countries under the AfCFTA.

“This information will help us with a report which will hopefully provide recommendations and follow up actions that will serve the interest of participating countries. We are going to share our recommendations with the Secretariat and together we will work with them to determine follow up actions that will help implement the trade agreement,” Pauline Simons with the Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA said.

The General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor took the team through the cargo handling process at the port and how data is captured.

She revealed that due to perishable nature, most of the agricultural produce go through the airport, even though some significant amount goes through Ghana’s ports.

“When the produce is stuffed on the farms, we depend on the declaration of the exporter,” she said.

The Acting General Manager for Corporate Planning, Khalid Nuhu added on to that.

“The exporter will first provide as with the manifest indicating quantities and that is verified at the waterfront. That data is processed and integrated in our total data for import and exports.”

The Director-General of GPHA, Micheal Luguje described some challenges associated with maritime transport within the continent of Africa.

He said one major problem for parties interested in small scale carriage of goods for intra-continental trade is achieving economies of scale for profitability.