The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has stated that the introduction of the Legislation on Restrictions of Soya Bean and the subsequent inauguration of the Implementation Committee will go a long way to address challenges confronting the country’s poultry industry.
The Minister says local industry players can now take advantage of the promulgation of Legislation Instrument restricting the exportation of the commodity to strengthen local capacity and expand their operations.
Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto made this statement when he joined his colleague Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, to inaugurate the Soya Bean Export Committee last Friday.
Government of Ghana, in response to concerns about unfair trade practices by players in the industry, initiated steps to restrict the export of soyabean to foreign markets.
Soyabean is one of the major crops under the Government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs(PFJ)
Production of the commodity in Ghana is said to have been increased from 40,000 metric tonnes in 2016, to 200,000 metric tonnes since the commencement of the PFJ programme in 2017.
But despite this significant increase in production, industry players, particularly, poultry farmers continued to face major challenges due to unfair trade practices from foreigners who are engaged primarily in the export of the commodity in its raw or processed form.
In order to address these challenges, that Government, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Trade and Industry, in the interim, introduced the Legislation on Restriction of Soya Bean (L. I. 2432), which was passed by Parliament last year, to put restriction on the exportation and importation of the commodity.
Membership of The Committee
Committee members were drawn from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Farmer-Based Organisations, Poultry Farmers, Food and Drugs Authority(FDA), as well as the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA)
The Committee has the Chief Director of the Trade Ministry, Mr. Patrick Yaw Nimo, as Chairman.
Other members include the Director of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of MOFA, Dr. Felicia Amprofi, The Director of Projects at GEPA, Mr. Alexander Dadzawa, Mr. Gabriel Kwame Asamoah, Chief Revenue Officer, GRA, Mr. Victor Oppong, National President of the Poultry Farmers Association and Alhaji Mashud Mohammed, who represents Soya Bean Farmers.
Addressing members at the inaugural ceremony, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the promulgation and the establishment of the Committee would go a long way to address the myriad of challenges confronting industry players.
Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto noted that the legal restriction serves as a win-win approach for all actors, stressing that farmers could now sell more of their produce if registered offtakers are known.
He further pointed out Local processors would be assured of volumes all-year-round whilst there would be known produce locations throughout the production zones.
“We believe this is a huge respite for poultry farmers and the poultry industry as they would be assured of an all-year round availability of the commodity. It will also be an avenue to create more jobs for our teeming youth who are interested in going into farming with huge boost from the PFJ programme” the Minister emphasized.
Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto further intimated that Government will also be assured of the needed taxes from a well regulated exportation, explaining that with the anticipated increase in production in the coming seasons, surpluses realised can be exported through the proper process, to earn the country huge foreign exchange.
“This also presents a golden opportunity for our researchers to undertake various studies into preferential behaviours of both local and foreign variants.
“International trade will also witness a major boost because advanced orders for produce would be converted into local production by farmers”
The Minister for Food and Agriculture therefore charged members of the Committee to diligently execute their mandate in order to realize the needed benefit to the country.
On his part, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, who inaugurated the Committee, described the success of the Government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme as crucial to the country’s industrial drive.
He said though the increase in production of the selected crops under the PFJ programme had given the needed impetus to the One District, One Factory programme, there were huge challenges in the management and trading of these produce, hence the need for some legislation help stakeholders in their operations.
He therefore implored members to work with commitment and integrity in order to achieve their objectives.
Whilst reminding them about their duties and responsibilities as spelt out in the L.I, Mr. Kyerematen advised them to be mindful of all international trade protocols, particularly in the West African sub-region, in order not to stampede the country’s import and export regimes.