National Salt Policy In The Offing
Mike Allen Hammah, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has stated that government is currently developing the national salt policy as part of the diversification of the country's mineral resource base.
According to Mr Hammah, the emerging oil industry demands huge quantities of salt.
In an exclusive interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE recently, the minister said Ghana has been recording low salt production with an annual production capacity of between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes of salt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt .
Though it is only about a tenth of its potential, he said salt contributes over GH¢5 billion annually to Ghana's economy and employs over 1000 people.
Mr Hammah said government would continue to provide opportunities for increasing local content in the mining industry through the building of the capacity of local entrepreneurs.
However, experts have expressed worry about the country's inability to produce enough salt in spite of its vast potential.
Salt production in Ghana started in the 19th century and it is the major economic activity of the people of Ada in the Dangme East District Assembly of the Greater Accra region and some parts of the Central region.
In the past years, the lack of a common policy to regulate the salt industry has affected pricing.
Though salt is produced on a small scale, there is inadequate basic infrastructure to refine it and players are compelled to use rudimentary technologies like rake and broken calabash to gather the white gold.
Salt produced by the local people are exported to neighbouring countries including Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire.
In with this, government has decided to take measures to increase and enhance local production in the sub-region.
A proper regulation of the salt industry is also expected to address environmental concerns.
The blueprint will help develop the salt industry and reduce poverty in the country.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey