Minister responsible for Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen has inaugurated a seven-member Soya Bean Export Permit Committee.
The minister explained that the decision to set up the regulatory taskforce is in furtherance of Export and Import â€“ Restrictions on Exportation of Soya Bean, Regulation 2020 (L.I 2432) which came into effect in December 2020.
Data suggests that there has been a tremendous increase in the export of soya bean from Ghana resulting in competition amongst exporters while creating shortages of the commodity for use by the livestock and poultry industry coupled with price hikes, making it expensive for local processing.
According to the sector minister, the situation â€œdefeats the purpose for which soya bean production is being subsidized by the Government under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programmeâ€.
The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture initiated and commenced the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme in 2017 with the aim of substantially increasing yields and production of various food crops including soya beans. The production of soya bean, which is currently being subsidized by the Government, is to ensure its availability for processing and use as animal feed by the domestic livestock and poultry industry at a cheaper cost to boost local livestock and poultry production.
In addition, under the One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has supported a number of poultry feed processing companies which has led to significant increase in local production hence high demand for soya bean as one of the main raw material inputs
However, in his remark at a brief ceremony held in Accra to inaugurate the committee, Mr Kyerematen noted that the Minister for Food and Agriculture requested that the Ministry of Trade and Industry initiates a process to regulate the export of soya bean after it realised an unhealthy trend of high exports at the expense of local demands.
â€œIn this regard, the Ministry undertook the process to institute restrictions on the export and import of soya bean. Parliament passed this new legislation Export and Import â€“ Restrictions on Exportation of Soya Bean, Regulation 2020 (L.I 2432) in October 2020 and came into force in December the same year,â€ he said.
The export legislation required that a committee be set up to implement the regulations in the legislation.
Section 3(2) of the legislation indicates that the Export Permit Committee should consist of one representative from; Ministry of Trade & Industry not below the rank of a Director, Chairperson, Ministry of Food & Agriculture not below the rank of a Director, Ghana Export Promotion Authority not below the rank of a Director, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority not below the rank of a Director, Food & Drugs Authority not below the rank of a Director, Poultry Farmersâ€™ Association (nominated by the Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture) and Soya Bean Producers (nominated by the Minister responsible for Food & Agriculture).
Mr Kyerematen expressed hope that the committee will be diligent in their responsibilities in order to ensure an effective regulation of Soya Bean exports.