GHANA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) of Ghana has approved 134 products to be introduced to the market under its Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS) for micro, cottage, and small-scale food processors, in a bid to improve on the safety, quality and wholesomeness of the products.

The PLS which was launched in July 2020 is a government of Ghana initiative, implemented by the FDA to introduce a three (3) staged licensing regime to support small business units.

It has the objective of accelerating the growth of the local food industry to progression with the aim of having at least 60% of made in Ghana food products in grocery shops and supermarkets in the near future.

According to FDA, the scheme was established to encourage small-scale and cottage sized food processors to be compliant with the food safety and quality standards of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) in the interest of public health and safety.

The recent approval will allow the products to be displayed boldly on the shelves of supermarkets and grocery shops across the country, CEO of the authority, Delese Mimi Darko said.

The approved products were produced by 56 licensed cottage and small-scale food manufacturers that have complied with the requirements of the scheme under a three-stage regime namely Pink, Yellow and Green.

Speaking in Accra at the presentation of facility licence certificates to successful applicants, Ms. Mimi Darko said the FDA is committed to supporting the growth of the local industry and has set its sights on ensuring that grocery shops and supermarkets will be stocked with made-in-Ghana products.

The FDA and the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) have absorbed part of the licensing fees of 500 facilities to the tune of GH¢1.85m (US$316k).

In addition, the FDA has given training in good manufacturing practices to the various companies and will continue to monitor and give them the necessary technical support to ensure their steady progression to the final stage of licensing under the scheme.

Factors which contribute to potential hazards in foods, such as poor hygienic practices, lack of preventive controls in food processing operations, contaminated raw materials or ingredients, and poor storage practices, will be addressed at every stage of the licensing process.

The FDA said it will continue to explore various scientific and risk-based innovative ways to support industry without compromising on safety and quality.

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