The Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) is calling on government to inject a substantial amount of money, by way investments, into the operations of small export companies in order to help them grow and be competitive.
Mr. Samuel Nii Quarcoo, a member of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Quarcoo Initiatives tells the Maritime and Transport Digest in an interview that government must also come up with deliberate policies that will force financial institutions to support small export companies to thrive, rather than concentrate on large export companies with the view to make huge profits.
According to him, the bane of the small scale exporter and the would-be exporters most often is the lack of access to credit and proper infrastructure like pack houses among others, stating that the small scale Ghanaian exporter has remained uncompetitive because of the poor and unprofessional manner in which they handle their products, especially vegetables.
‘’Most of the vegetables and other perishables we export end up at what I call the Agbogbloshie market of Europe because it is going to the corner shops and this is because of the way we handle these things, then it cannot go to their supermarkets and other big shopping Malls just because of the way we handle it. We can’t sell to a supermarket without having a pack house, so some of us had to invest our monies into building pack houses which is wrong,’’ he said.
Mr. Quarcoo said it was imperative that government invests in infrastructure like pack houses for common use and to be operated commercially not by government, but the exporter Associations in the country.
‘’Any government in power has a duty to ensure that Ghana earns more export revenue and to do this is to come down to basics. Those exporters we call small are the ones that will grow to become big, but I think the banks are looking for the big ones so that they support them with say 5 million dollars so that they can make huge profits, and that is not good enough. They must get down to the level of those who also need a few thousands of dollars because these are the ones that will grow and become bigger’’ he told this reporter.
He was also emphatic about the need for Ghanaian small scale exporters to form groups and forge joint venture-ships to enable them maximise the potential of their companies to the fullest.