Imports of Cassava from China Is Only for Industrial Purposes – Agric Ministry
The Agric Ministry has confirmed that although Ghana imports cassava from China, it is only for industrial purposes. Responding to allegations that the Ministry has been importing tonnes of cassava from China, the Director of Crops at the Ministry, Seth Osei Akoto said that given the requisite support, Ghana will be able to meet such demands in the future.
Ranking Member of the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, Eric Opoku disclosed that the practice has been ongoing since 2019. Statistics from the World Integrated Trade solution reveal that Ghana in 2019 imported a total of over 400,000kg of manioc cassava from China, Hongkong, Thailand and Nigeria worth over 400,000 usd (China ($261.70K, 268,171 Kg), Hong Kong, China ($113.53K , 78,903 Kg), Thailand ($38.12K , 57,000 Kg), Nigeria ($0.05K , 10 Kg)
But reacting to the allegations on Okayfm, Mr. Akoto said the cassava being imported is only used in the production of industrial starch and not consumed locally. According to him, the ranking member could have clarified before putting the matter out
“We disagree when he says every cassava is cassava. There is a distinction between what we consume and what is being used for industrial purposes. He should have conducted further research to establish what is being imported and what is being consumed locally” he said”
He said the government through its one district one factory policy is considering partnering with investors to produce industrial starch to reduce the import of the commodity which will translate into revenue for the local market.
The ranking member also disclosed Ghana is importing over 99,000 metric tonnes of rice annually. It is amazing how governments upon governments lament about the structure of Ghana’s import-dependent economy in opposition yet do very little to nothing to change that structure.
The President in a recent reaction to the poor performance of the Ghana cedi was lamenting about Ghana’s economic structure and how we are import-dependent, a situation which had consistently put the country’s current account balance in the negative.