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President of the Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPDAG), Samuel Avaala, has expressed that the 50 percent cut in benchmark valuations on imports is a disincentive to local investors in the oil palm industry.
Samuel Avaala asserted that the benchmark valuation policy has made imports cheaper hence reducing local investments in that sector.
Speaking to GhanaWeb, the palm oil boss said the oil palm industry experiencing an indiscriminate valuation policy will make local investors flee.
“If you are an investor and you know that importing the product into the country is cheaper than making it in the country, it will just make business sense to halt the productions and rather import.”
Mr Avaala also noted that, “once imports are cheaper more oil palm will come into the country. We are not saying imports should not come in. Ghana is a net importer, our indigenous production cannot meet local consumption. We are asking that these imports come in at parity.”
The 50 percent benchmark value for imports will benefit the country when applied to commodities that are not locally produced, he said.
“Pharmaceuticals, building materials, spare parts amongst others that are not produced here can enjoy such benefits so they are made cheaper for the consumers.”
The Benchmark Valuation cut has virtually brought the sector onto its knees and coupled with the effects of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Association fears the worst for the industry.
The Association believes the reversal of the valuation cut would safeguard the continuous existence of the sector and guarantee the economic livelihoods of the tens of thousands within the oil palm value chain in the country.
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