Director of Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Seth Osei Akoto has confirmed that Ghana is indeed importing cassava as claimed by Ranking Member on the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee in Parliament, Eric Opoku.
He however indicated that what is imported is for industrial purposes adding that if the needed support is given Ghana will be able to meet such a demand.
On why the government is unable to stop companies from importing cassava from China and other places, he responded “every establishment has its own line of production. Some need industrial starch to manufacture certain medicines but if the company is not able to source some from Ghana though we are a cassava producing nation, we have not reached the stage of producing industrial starch here in Ghana and the said company goes out to source that would you conclude we are importing cassava?
The Agric official, there was the need for the lawmaker to find out which cassava is being imported and used in the production of industrial starch compared to the one consumed locally before making a conclusive statement that cassava is now being imported.
“We disagree when he says every cassava is cassava. There is a distinction between what we consume and what is being used for industrial purposes. He should have conducted further research to establish what is being imported and what is being consumed locally”, he argued
According to him on Accra-based Okay Fm monitored by MyNewsGh.com, the government through the 1 district 1 factory policy is considering partnering with investors to establish a factory that can produce industrial starch to reduce the import of the commodity which will translate into revenue for the local market.
He added that “We have dealt in cassava we have gotten to a stage where we can produce high-quality cassava flour and even wheat, we can produce composite flour with cassava that will cut down the quantity of wheat importation. Our challenge is getting investors to support the ministry in this regard after the several feasibility studies”