Seven-member Soybean Export Permit Committee tasked to regulate compliance
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, has commissioned a seven-member Soya Bean Export Permit Committee to ensure regulatory compliance to boost domestic livestock and poultry production.
The setting up of the regulatory task force is in furtherance of the Export and Import – Restrictions on Exportation of Soya Bean, Regulation 2020 (L.I 2432), which came into effect in December 2020.
Currently, the government has subsidised the production of soybean under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFG) programme, to substantially increase the production of various food crops in the country.
However, information available to the Ministry for Trade and Industry indicates that there has been a significant increase in the export of soya bean from Ghana, contrary to the goal of the subsidy to enhance local production.
Due to this situation, there has been a shortage of the commodity for use by the livestock and poultry industry, as competition heightens among exporters.
In addition, there have been price hikes, which have made it expensive for local processing of the bean for use as feed, and other purposes.
According to the sector minister, the situation “defeats the purpose for which soya bean production is being subsidised by the government under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.”
He underscored that the PFJ, which has supported many poultry feed processing companies, has led to a significant increase in local poultry production hence the high demand for soya bean, which is one of the main raw material inputs.
Mr Kyerematen, then noted that the export competition and price hikes were detrimental to realising the purpose of the subsidy, hence, the ministry’s decision to regulate the export of soybean to curtail the unhealthy trend.
“In this regard, the Ministry undertook the process to institute restrictions on the export and import of Soya bean, (which is the L.I 2432),” he said.
With the coming into force, a committee to see to the implementation of the legislation, the trade minister said, he was hopeful that the committee would diligently discharge their responsibilities to ensure effective regulation of Soya Bean exports.
The Export and Import – Restrictions on Exportation of Soya Bean, Regulation 2020
The legislation requires that a committee be set up to implement the regulations, which includes a representative from the Ministry of Trade and Industry not below the rank of a Director.
In addition, is a Chairperson from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), both of whom are not to be below the rank of a Director.
The rest are the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), none of whom should be below the rank of a Director.
There is also a representative from the Poultry Farmers’ Association (nominated by the Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture) and Soya Bean Producers (nominated by the Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture).
The Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme
The government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture initiated and implemented the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme in 2017 with the aim of substantially increasing the production of various food crops including soya beans.
The PFJ programme also aims to promote food security and immediate availability of selected food crops on the market, while providing jobs for Ghanaians, especially, the youth.
The program focuses on providing a 50% subsidy of the cost of inputs (seeds and fertilisers), and complimentary services such as extension services and marketing of outputs.
PFAG Monitoring of Fertilisers report
A 2020 Monitoring of Fertilisers report by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), made public, last month disclosed that cartels were smuggling and hoarding fertilisers in the northern parts of the country.
The areas that the activities of the cartels including politicians, chiefs, community leaders, security agencies and farmers occurred were Hohoe, West Mamprusi, Mamprugu-Moagduri, Pusiga and Sisala East.
The report noted that “smuggling, hoarding and corruption continue to be the major challenges impeding the successful implementation of the government’s FSP for smallholder farmers.”
READ ALSO: Support Security Agencies To Stop Fertiliser Smugglers – Akufo Addo Tells Chiefs
Amid the report by PFAG, President Nana Akufo-Addo asked the chiefs and people of Nandom in the Upper West Region to support security agencies in the region to curb the smuggling of subsidised fertilisers to farmers.
This would ensure sustainable production and lessen the burden that farmers incurred by buying fertilisers as high a cost.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the chiefs and people of Nandom, as part of his two-day working tour in the upper west, which ended on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
“I would like to make an appeal to you, and the other divisional chiefs and elders who are here, to enhance your cooperation with the security agencies, so we can stop the smuggling of fertilisers from Ghana to our neighbouring countries,” he said.
The president remarked that the fertilisers were been given to the farmers at a subsidised price, borne by the Ghanaian taxpayer, and said, “we should not allow a few greedy criminals to cart the fertilisers subsidised by all of us across to sell in Burkina Faso,” he urged them.