Prime News Ghana

Akoto Afriyie wants import restrictions bill back

By Primenewsghana
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Former Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie has urged the government to consider imposing restrictions on the importation of specific food items to safeguard Ghanaian farmers and bolster their competitiveness on the global stage.

Despite Parliament's rejection of an L.I. aimed at limiting the importation of 22 items in 2023, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie stressed the need for the government to revisit the issue. Speaking at a forum in Kumasi, he underscored Ghana’s excessive reliance on imports, which he argued has placed local farmers at a significant disadvantage.

The called for urgent action from the government to rectify the situation.

“It is regrettable that in December 2023, the Ministry of Trade and Industry failed to present a legislative instrument aimed at curbing the import of 22 selected food items, 12 of which are agricultural products cultivated by our local farmers. Our farmers face significant challenges under the current import regime and require a fair playing field to compete with their foreign counterparts.”

The proposed Export and Import Regulations 2023 sought to restrict the importation of strategic products such as sugar, rice, poultry, and tripe into the country.

However, the Minority Caucus in Parliament opposed the bill.

In addition, six associations, including the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG), and Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, among others, submitted a petition against the bill. Following public pressure, the proposal was subsequently suspended.