The Soya Value Chain Association of Ghana (SVCAG) has held a stakeholder consultative meeting with actors in the soya value chain as part of its efforts to restructure trades within the industry.
The efforts include the engagement of farmers and input dealers on how the latter could sustainably supply inputs to the former for increased production.
The day’s meeting which took place in Tamale, was held in partnership with the USAID, Yara Ghana, GIZ Ghana and the Agribusiness Office and attended by stakeholders in the soya value chain across the northern part of the country.
It served as a forum to educate stakeholders on action plans for the year and consult with smallholder farmers, processors, and feed millers on how to address challenges that were raised at an earlier press conference in Tamale regarding low prices of soya beans.
Soyabeans farmers, aggregators and other actors in the soya value chain interacted with the leadership of SVCAG and sought explanations to efforts at providing lasting solutions to their challenges and concerns within the value chain.
Mr Yaw Afrifa, the Executive Secretary of SVCAG, said in spite of the government’s interventions to enhance the soya value chain, it still faces challenges including timely access to subsidised fertilizers for farmers.
Operations of the Soyabean Value Chain Under Threat By Foreigners
The Executive Secretary of SVCAG noted that the operations of the soya value chain in Ghana are being threatened by foreigners who invaded the market resulting in high prices.
Mr Yaw Afrifa explained that engaging the value chain actors is a medium to check threats against the production of quality seeds as well as the supply of farm inputs.
Mr Afrifa disclosed that SVCAG has led in various negotiations for reduced prices and access to credit from suppliers and considered this as the best way to facilitate access to farm inputs for its members.
The active Interaction at the forum led to a proposal to ensure equal opportunities for all actors in the value chain, and the constitution of a three-member committee to review and draft a Memorandum of Understanding, to facilitate activities to ensure that no soyabean got sold below the crop budget.
Some farmers, however, objected to suggestions that soyabeans be credited to aggregators, which became another pivot for the deliberations.
Mr Alhassan Abdulai Andrews, the Chairman of the Ghana Soya Farmers and Aggregators Association admitted that the consultation was a step in the right direction.
Mr Alhassan, meanwhile, sided with the earlier objections raised by the farmers on giving their produce on credit, saying that it was non-negotiable as it invariably affected the farmers.
Mr Isaac Papanko, a commercial soyabean farmer, said there have been bad experiences in sales on credit, and suggested that there should be good guarantees for assurances against defaults.
Meanwhile, there is a growing unmet market demand and unused processing-export capacity of soya beans in the country.
Ghana’s annual soyabean production potential is 700,000 metric tons covering an area of about 250,000 hectares, while the area under cultivation is about 125,000 hectares.
The country’s combined processing and export gap of soyabeans is 228,000 metric tons, while imports, mainly processed soya meal, amounted to about 200,000 metric tons of grain equivalent leading to an unmet market demand.