A seven-member Soya Bean Export Permit Committee has been inaugurated in Accra.
It has been charged with the responsibility to efficiently manage and regulate the export of soya bean with the imposition of an export permit regime in the country.
The constitution of the committee is in accordance with the Legislation on Restrictions of Soya Bean (L.I. 2432).
The committee is chaired by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr Patrick Yaw Nimo, with the members being the Director of the Plant Protection & Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD), Dr Felicia Ansah Amprofi, and the Director of Projects at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr Alexander Dadzawa.
The rest are a Chief Revenue Officer at the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Gabriel Kwame Asamoah; the Head of the Food Division of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mr Roderick Daddey-Adjei; the National Chairman of the Poultry Farmers Association, Mr Victor Oppong Adjei, and a farmer and member of Soya Bean Producers, Alhaji Mashud Mohammed.
Inaugurating the committee last Friday, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, observed that the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme had resulted in a substantial increase in yields and the production of various food crops, including soya bean.
According to him, the government was subsidising the production of soya bean to ensure its availability for processing and use as animal feed by the domestic livestock and poultry industry at a cheaper cost.
He said data gathered indicated that there had been a tremendous increase in the export of soya beans from the country.
Mr Kyerematen explained that the competition for the crop as an export product was creating shortages of the commodity for use by the local livestock and poultry industry and had resulted in price hikes, making it expensive for the local processing industry.
He said that defeated the purpose for which soya bean production was being subsidised by the government under the PFJ, saying it was against that backdrop that the Minister for Food and Agriculture requested the Trade Ministry to initiate processes to regulate the export of the crop.
“In that regard, the ministry undertook the process to institute restrictions on the export and import of the commodity with the passage of the Restrictions on Exportation of Soya Bean, Regulation 2020 (L.I. 2432) in October 2020," Mr Kyerematen said.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said: “Today is a historic day because, for the first time, Ghana is able to regulate soya bean exports.
“The commodity is an international one worth huge sums of proceeds and Ghana is endowed with the environment to be a major player in its production,” he said.
He said it was a matter of concern that the country had not been able to maximise the potential of the product.
“With this development, the country will be able to check capital flight of the export of that non-traditional crop because it will ensure that proceeds earned by exporters can be invested in the local economy to contribute to national economic growth,” he said.
Mr Nimo pledged that the committee would work hard to implement and enforce the provisions of the regulations.
"We will carefully consider the issuance of licences for the quota of the commodity that could be exported and I want to assure the minister that we will provide periodic updates on the enforcement of the provisions, as stipulated in the regulation," he said.