Access to packaging materials a concern for SMEs

Labelling and packaging is a serious barrier affecting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to perfect their trade. As was identified in the Sierra Leone National AGOA Response Strategy 2019 to 2025, this is dependent on the type of product and the model(s) for access used. “It is important to note that labelling and packaging can also be used as a means to advertise the product. It is therefore important that the labelling and packaging should be of high quality and legible to attract consumers.” That Strategy recommended that overseas trade attachés should be tasked to identify investors in packaging and labelling facilities and establish contact with packaging and labelling facilities in neighbouring countries – there may be an appetite to invest in the production of packaging materials to be used in Sierra Leone. Sheila Snell of SHES Organic trades in local delicacies like, grounded pepper, egusi, okra, groundnut which she processes and sells. But she is currently faced with the challenge of having the right materials to package her products. “As you can see I order these packaging kits from Ghana,  you can see my product we do not have any one to buy from, from here except from abroad, labelling and sealing of the products is also a challenge” she said. Joseph Amoateng of Lambano S/L Ltd who is an agro-processing trader in honey garlic, honey-ginger, coconut oil, palmoil, processed local chicken, pepper amongst others said that he has a small outlet along King Street where his products are displayed.

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