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29.03.2022 Rejoinder

Re: Hon. Eric Opoku Peddled Falsehood, Ghana Not An Importer Of Raw Cassava -Ministry Of Food And Agriculture

By Kingsley Akwaa
Re: Hon. Eric Opoku Peddled Falsehood, Ghana Not An Importer Of Raw Cassava -Ministry Of Food And Agriculture
29.03.2022 LISTEN

The attention of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has been drawn to a very wild and outrageous claims by a Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, Hon. Eric Opoku, that Ghana imported cassava from China in 2019.

The Ministry wishes to state emphatically that the claim by the NDC MP is false and pure fake news. First of all, Hon. Eric Opoku failed to quote the source which forms the basis of his claims. This can only be the trademark of a person who engages in propaganda and misinformation for political expediency.

Secondly, to openly deceive the people of Ghana, he gave the clear impression that the ‘cassava imports’ he referred to was freshly harvested raw cassava crop.

However, empirical data from various sources, including the Ghana Statistical Service, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Ghana Shippers Authority, and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), specifically refer to processed industrial cassava such as starch, gari, cassava flour, tapioca, etc.

In actual fact, Ghana is a net exporter of cassava products. The table below gives a summary of volume and value of exports and imports of Cassava Products traded in the years 2019 and 2020

VOLUME AND VALUE OF EXPORTS AND IMPORTS OF CASSAVA PRODUCTS (PROCESSED)– 2019 AND 2020

2019 2020
1 Volume of Exports (MT) 4,709 6,444
2 Volume of Imports (MT) 747 562
3 Value of Exports (GH¢ Million) 13.7 10.4
4 Value of Imports (GH¢ Million) 2.5 1.5

Source: Ghana Statistical Service

The table shows that the value of exports of processed cassava in 2019 was of GH ₵13.7 million compared to GH ₵ 2.5 million of imports. In the same vein, in 2020, processed cassava export was GH ₵ 10.8 million compared to GH ₵ 1.5 million of import. Total production of cassava in Ghana in 2019 was 19.4 million metric tonnes.

Beside this, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which is the agency responsible for issuing permit for importation of agriculture produce, did not issue any permit for the importation of cassava into Ghana.

The NDC Honourable Member of Parliament, in his desperate attempts to discredit this government’s enviable record in agriculture, failed to avert his mind to the fact that some of the derivatives from cassava used for other purposes, including manufacturing of drugs, textiles, amongst others, are not manufactured locally and therefore have to be imported. Is this what Hon. Eric Opoku terms it as importation? How pathetic! Then we can as well say that Ghana imports cocoa because there several cocoa products that are imported into the country.

Perhaps drenched in his own propaganda, which is typical of him and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Hon. Eric Opoku failed to appreciate the fact that such claims are easily verifiable from institutions in charge of collecting data of all items imported or exported into and from the country.

We wish to call on the public to treat the claims by the Honourable Member with all the contempt it deserves.

Ghana has since the rollout of the flagship Planting for Food and Jobs programme in 2017, been touted as the bread basket of West Africa; a feat we will continue to pride ourselves with thanks to the outstanding commitment of the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and the Sector Minister, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

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