Trade Ministry backtracks on ban on cashew exports


The Ministry of Trade and Industry has suspended its controversial decison to ban the exportation of raw cashew nuts.

The decision follows massive outrage against the directive.

Members of Parliament also threatened to take on the Trade Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, over the ill-timed decision.

There was a heated debate in Parliament with MPs describing MOTI’s decision as illegal.

They said the directive will result in a sharp decline in cashew prices and collapse the industry.

The directive indicated that: “Henceforth, all traders and processors are to note that they are allowed to purchase Raw Cashew Nuts during the main harvesting season from January to June but export of Raw Cashew Nuts is permitted only after 31st May onwards.

“Any raw cashew nuts that are brought to ports or borders of Ghana for export between 31st March and 31st May, 2016 shall be confiscated to the State.”

The Ministry has further stated that the export of the raw cashew is stifling efforts it is making at promoting value addition under the National Export Development Programme (NEDP) 2016-2020 which seeks to increase earnings from the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector.

But speaking to an Accra-based radio station, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Murtala Mohammed, said the directive has been withdrawn.

The move, he said, has become necessary because the ministry “wants to come out with a decision that will be in the interest of all farmers and at the same time the interest of the domestic cashew processing company who are complaining.”



Source: B&FT Online