ACTORS in the soya value chain have called for a collaborative approach to develop a national strategy that can transform soyabean into a profitable cash crop such as cocoa.
That, they said, would empower the government to use the commodity to access syndicated loans in order to accelerate the development of the value chain.
Instead of a mere export restriction, the actors, led by its umbrella body, Soya Value Chain Association of Ghana (SVCAG) said the government should rather consider increasing efforts towards the development of the value chain, increase investments and introduce a yearly purchase price regime for the commodity.
The SVCAG is made up of members from Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, National Seed Traders’ Association, Soyabean Processors, Ghana Chamber of Agri Businesses, Ghana National Poultry Farmers Association including women’s groups and Women in Poultry Value Chain Association.
Increase financial support
The chairperson of the association, Thomas Bello, at a press conference in Accra on December 5, underlined the need to increase financial support to domestic actors for the production and processing of soyabeans.
“The government should increase effort to develop a national strategy to make soyabeans a cash crop to enable them to acquire syndicated loans to support the development of the value chain.
“We need to increase financial support to domestic actors for the production and processing of soybeans. Development partners should align their works with the needs of soya actors.
“The government should be able to announce yearly prices for soyabeans purchasing,” he said.
Value chain actors
Mr Bello stated that soya value chain actors needed to be consulted and given the opportunity to serve on any committee constituted to oversee improvement of soya value chain activities in the country.
According to him, there was the need to replicate and expand the Savannah Zone Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP) project to increase soybean production in Ghana.
He said the government should revise the leadership of public institutions such as Ghana Commodities Exchange, Buffer Stock Company and the incoming Commodities Export Control Authority to give value chain actors control to lead these committees for effective operations on the ground.
He said the country should replicate best practices from development institutions for soybean producers.
“The government should do all it can to protect and maintain the Ghanaian non- genetically modified organism (GMO) soya production.
It is our niche market and when lost, it will produce massive unemployment and loss of livelihood for all who benefit from the soya value chain in Ghana, especially for all the northern regions of the country,” he added.