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14.12.2007 Social News

Church urges Ghanaians to patronise local products


Tema Diocese of the Methodist Church has held a day's seminar on trade for its group leaders with a call on Ghanaians to patronize local products to ensure the sustenance of local industries.

The three speakers at the seminar said high patronage of made in Ghana goods would limit the influx of cheap goods on the local market and would keep farmers and industrialists in business.

The speakers are Very Reverend Aaron Gaisie-Amoah, Synod Secretary, Very Rev. Comfort Quartey-Papafio, Tema Circuit Minister and Rev. Patrick Kofi Amissah, Circuit Minister.

They expressed regret as to how developed countries determine prices of local products like minerals and cocoa and called for measures to reverse the present global trade practice as it impacts negatively on the economy.

They said though no nation could live in isolation there should be fair trade that would help sustain the industries rather than imposition of prices and urged Ghana to resist attempts to enter into foreign agreement that would rather land the nation into economic hardships.

Speaking on the topic, "global trade in food and the impact of poor economics", Very Rev. Gaisie-Amoah said for global trade to have positive impact on Ghana, policies should be made to enjoin all to patronize local goods.

He appealed to governments to build storage facilities like silos, cold stores and warehouses to store perishable food items against the lean season to reduce the dependence on foreign aid.

Very Rev. Quartey-Papafio spoke on "trade justice and the right to food" and called on the government to "take the bull by the horn" to impose taxes when necessary and use the money judiciously by subsidizing farming inputs to enable farmers to increase their produce.

Rev. Amissah who took his turn on the topic, "international trade and free trade liberalization", stressed the need for Ghana to make an in-depth research into what pertains on the international market to know which products sell fast to be able to compete with international goods.

He said lack of access to information as well as adding value to the products contributed to the low patronage of local products.

The Very Right Rev. Samuel Achamfour-Yeboah, Tema Methodist Diocesan Bishop, called for the pursuit of righteousness for fair trade transaction between the developed and developing countries.

He said it was unrealistic for developed countries to close their markets to free trade whiles demanding African countries to open theirs.

Bishop Achamfour-Yeboah said "the rich must see themselves as also being in need of God's mercy and justice and so give mercy and justice to the poor."