GHANA – The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has called on the government of Ghana and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to ban the influx of smuggled wheat flour from Ivory Coast to save the local flour milling companies.
According to the Association, most of these imported wheat flours are either unwholesome or smuggled through unapproved routes into the country from neighbouring countries.
Addressing the media in Accra, Samson Asaki Awingobit, Executive Secretary of the Association said most of the alleged smuggled wheat flour has foreign languages inscribed on the bag/jute sack which makes it difficult for one to identify the expiration date or wholesomeness.
“It is of much concern that, the majority of these wheat flours on our local market space do not have the approval of either the Food and Drugs Authority or Ghana Standards Authority seal on them, contrary to the laws governing the importation of consumable goods into the country.
“Our concern as an association is the failure of the various institutions mandated to clamp down on these illegalities, which stands as a threat to the health and safety of the public and also pose a serious threat to the growth of the sector,” he stated.
Mr. Awingobit explained that the flood of the unauthorized wheat flours on the market has made the local producers lose huge revenues on daily basis. The foreign flour on the market, he said, sells at almost 50 percent less than the locally produced ones.
“Those wheat flour come with cheap prices making it easily accessible in all the markets, hence was one of the common commodities consumed in every Ghanaian household on an average day, whether as bread, pastries and pancakes,” he said.
He, however, urged the government to put in place effective mechanisms that will create an enabling environment for the local flour milling industry to do business at ease.
This, he emphasized, will enable the local flour producers stand a better chance at competing with the neighbouring countries who sell their products at a lower rate.
“The importation of consumable goods such as rice and flour into the country through unapproved routes and means should be a thing of the past, considering the negative effects it has on our local producers,” he stated.