https://www.myjoyonline.com/mahama-shares-in-frustration-of-farmers-as-ban-on-soya-exportation-bites-hard/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/mahama-shares-in-frustration-of-farmers-as-ban-on-soya-exportation-bites-hard/

Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama has shared in the frustration of soya farmers over claims of poor pricing of their produce, following a ban on the export of the product.

According to the former President, who is also a farmer, the product which sells at 460 cedis a bag is unable to cover the cost of production.

Mr Mahama made the story public in support of challenges of the Soya Bean Farmers Association which are proposing the lifting of a ban on soya bean exportation.

“If we are allowed to export and the price went up, it will make us put more land under soya bean cultivation. It will make us expand the acreage of soya bean so we can produce more and when we produce more, the price will come down naturally”, he explained.

Mr. Mahama explains how unprofitable the venture has become, “If you look at the diesel I used in the tractor, the salaries I paid my farmhands, the inputs and others then it means that we are not really breaking even. I have started a pilot onion production and I am getting about sixty bags of onions per acre and each bag can sell for 1400 cedis. So I am better off farming onions than soya beans”.

 He was speaking at a town hall meeting at Tamale as part of the “Building Ghana Tour” of the National Democratic Congress.

The ban on export of soya took effect in 2021, aimed at ensuring local millers can have a year-round supply of soya bean to feed the poultry industry.

Hitherto, the local millers faced strong competition from foreign buyers, driving prices to about GHS600 of a 100 kilogram worth of soya bean.

According to the leadership of the farmers, it costs between 450 cedis and 460 cedis for a hundred kilogram of soya bean which is unable to make up for the cost of production.

They say the market for the product has continued to diminish.

Director of Administration at Ghana Association of Soya Bean Farmers and Aggregators, Abdul Hakim Issah reaveals, “casually there are people to buy but sometimes you will hear that they don’t have money. The grain is the bank of the farmer, you should be able to pick it at any moment and sell to get your money”.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Association of Soya Bean Farmers and Aggregators is proposing the government invests in the sector to drive production.

 He added, “Ghana has capacity to produce 1.5 million tonnes a year but currently we are doing less than 250 thousand tonnes. We think government should increase investment into the sector so that people without jobs will find something to do on the arable lands we have”.

Meanwhile, the NDC flagbearer has assured the farmers of willingness to hold a discussion on the issues in a bid to find a lasting solution.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.



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