The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Osei Afriyie Akoto has refuted the wild and outrageous claims by a Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, Eric Opoku, that Ghana imported cassava from China in 2019.
The Minister in a statement urge the public to ignore the false lies paddle by the NDC to dent the image of the Akufo-Addo led government.
He explained that the claim by the NDC MP is false and pure fake news.
“First of all, 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’.
According to the Minister, “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 crops”.
“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”.
He explained that “Ghana is a net exporter of cassava products. The table below gives a summary of the volume and value of exports and imports of Cassava Products traded in the years 2019 and 2020”.
- Volume of Exports (MT) 4,709 – 6,444
- Volume of Imports (MT) 747 – 562
- Value of Exports (GH¢ Million) 13.7 -10.4
- Value of Imports (GH¢ Million) 2.5 – 1.5.
‘The table above shows that the value of exports of processed cassava in 2019 waf 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 imports total production of cassava in Ghana in 2019 was 19.4 million metric tonnes”.
He continued that “Besides this, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorates of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which is the agency responsible for issuing permits for the importation of agricultural produce, did not issue any permit for the importation of cassava into Ghana”.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto noted that the NDC 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 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”.
He added that “Perhaps drenched in hin propaganda, which is typical of him and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), 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”.
“Ghana has since the rollout of the flagship Planting for Food and Job programme in 2017, been touted as the breadbasket of West Africa; a feat we will continue to pride ourselves with thanks to the outstanding commitment of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and the Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto” the statement underscored.