The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has appealed to the government of Ghana to not extend the ban on the exportation of grains when the current ban expires.
The Head of Programmes and Advocacy at Peasant Farmers Association, Charles Nyaaba, stated that the directive has negatively affected customers as the local market has not been able to absorb their produce. He thus, described the ban on the exportation of selected grains in the country as counterproductive.
“The ban ends in September, and we do not expect the government to renew it. What government can do as a country hosting the secretariat of AfCFTA in that area is rather to open it, so we are able to trade with our neighbouring countries and subsidize grains for the industry.”Charles Nyaaba
Lack of Market for Local Grains
The Head of Programmes and Advocacy at Peasant Farmers Association bemoaned lack of market for local grains in the country due to infrastructure problems. The situation, he said, is leading to loss of capital for peasant farmers.
“There are grains in parts of the country, but no one is buying them from farmers because the road networks are bad. Government should rather invest in the road sector. When we do that, we will be good to go.”Charles Nyaaba
The government had announced an extension of the ban on produce such as maize, rice, soybeans, and other grains. The ban, which took effect in September 2021, was due to expire at the end of March. However, it was extended to run until September 2022.
The directive restricts Ghana’s export of maize and soybean to Niger, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Congo, the United Kingdom, Qatar, the United States, Italy and Canada.
After Burkina Faso, Algeria, Tunsia and Egypt, Ghana becomes the fifth nation on the African continent to react to soaring grain prices and the disruption to global trade caused partly by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
According to the government, the move is to ensure food security for the West African country. Food security in Ghana has become a pertinent issue for several months now, with stakeholders warning of food shortage if the problem is not solved.
While the government has consistently touted the progress made in the agriculture sector due to its interventions, issues such as a lack of access to poultry feed, fertilizer, and rising food prices, which are reflected in Ghana’s high food inflation, have got stakeholders in the sector concerned.
In order to address these issues, government has restricted the exportation of two of the country’s essential commodities– soya bean and maize.
Already, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate has stopped issuing phytosanitary certificates for the export of both commodities.