AfDB Launches "Grain Quality Grading and Certification Project" to Boost Cereal Value Chain in Ghana

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has embarked on a groundbreaking three-year research project in Ghana titled the "Grain Quality Grading and Certification Project." In collaboration with the University of Ghana's School of Agriculture, this initiative aims to reshape cereal value chain development by assessing the potential impact of precise grain grading and certification in sub-Saharan Africa. The project's overarching goal is to attract investments in grain quality enhancement, increase local consumption of safe and healthy food, and create opportunities for global grain exports.

The research will delve into the effectiveness of grain quality grading and certification at both smallholder and market levels, with a focus on significantly boosting investments, improving access to high-end markets, and establishing a price premium for superior-quality grains. Moreover, the project will evaluate the feasibility of independent third-party provision of grain grading and certification services.

During the project's launch in Ghana, stakeholders from various sectors, including government officials, academics, NGOs, and farmers, converged to underscore the importance of enforcing rules, quality standards, and certifications. Mr. Yaw Frimpong Addo, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, emphasized the government's commitment to food safety, citing the adoption of a National Policy for Aflatoxin Control in Food and Feed in 2022.

Financially supported by the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Fund (KOAFEC), the project aims to collaborate with key institutions in the grain value chain in Ghana, including the Ghana Standards Authority, the Ghana Commodities Exchange, and the Ghana Grains Council. Anticipated outcomes include empowering smallholders in market negotiations, promoting the adoption of technologies for high-value grain processing, and building capacity through extensive outreach to stakeholders in the grain value chain.

Dr. Francis H. Kemeze, AfDB's Senior Research Economist, highlighted the significance of promoting grain quality across African markets, pointing to annual losses of up to $670 million due to aflatoxin contamination. The project aligns with the bank's priority to address these challenges and contribute to the economic growth of the region.


Article by Jed Mwangi