Benchmark Valuation Policy killing local palm industry- OPDAG
The Oil Palm Development Association of Ghana (OPDAG) is calling on government to review its Benchmark Valuation Policy, arguing that it threatens the survival of their businesses. The association upon a review of the policy since its introduction a year ago, prays government exempt oil palm producers from it. A statement issued by the association indicated that the existence of the policy had stifled their turnovers and operations due to the unfavourable competition from imported products. According to them, the benchmark valuation policy has made imports cheaper than the locally produced products from the sector.
“The Benchmark Valuation Policy has virtually brought the sector onto its knees coupled with the outbreak of the Corona Virus pandemic, the Association fears the worst for the industry. The Association wants the government to exempt the sector from the Benchmark Valuation as a way of safeguarding the continuous existence of the sector and guaranteeing the economic livelihoods of the tens of thousands within oil palm value chain in country.
“Prior to the introduction of the benchmark value, a 25liter (Yellow Gallon) of oil produced locally was selling at One Hundred and Forty-Five Ghana Cedis, (GH¢145) against One Hundred and Fifty Ghana Cedis (GH¢150) for the imported produce. However, when the policy kicked in, whereas the locally produced vegetable oil was still selling at One Hundred and Forty-Five Ghana Cedis, the imported products started selling at between Seventy-Five Ghana Cedis and One Hundred and Twenty Ghana Cedis” the statement read.
The OPDAG disclosed that businesses are folding up as a result of the undesired impact the policy has brought into the sector. They argued further that, the entire value chain in the industry is equally suffering the consequence.
“This situation has affected local players in the industry, as refineries continue to shut down and lay off workers. A greater number of farmers have also found their way out of business as a result of the dwindling fortunes of the sector”