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Tree Crop Dev't Authority Bill To Be Passed End 2019   
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Mr Collins Ntim
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The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has held a stakeholders’ engagement to validate a draft regulation to operationalise the implementation of the Ghana Tree Crop Authority Act, which is in the offing.

The bill has been approved by Cabinet and is expected to facilitate the setting up of the Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority (GTCDA).

The authority will be the statutory body that will regulate the country's tree crops sub-sector.

Both the draft regulation and the bill will be put before Parliament concurrently latest by June 5, 2019.

The bill and the draft regulations are expected to be passed by the close of 2019.

The purpose is to regulate in a sustainable environment the production, processing and trading of tree crops specified in the first schedule of the Tree Crop Development Act.

It is also to set standards and specifications for fresh and processed products from selected value chains specified in the first schedule of the Tree Crop Development Act.

In attendance at last Thursday’s meeting were representatives of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs); private sector players in the tree crop sub-sector, including the Africa Cashew Alliance, the Oil Palm Outgrowers Association, Women in Agriculture, the Cashew Buyers and Exporters Association and Rubber Plantation Ghana Limited, policy makers and researchers.

Ghana Tree Crop Authority

When established, the authority, among other functions, will regulate and manage the production, processing and marketing of tree crops such as cashew, mango, coffee and citrus.

It will also be responsible for the issuance of licences, registration of industry players and enforcement of compliance to ensure adherence to best practices in the tree crop sub-sector.

The authority, which will be private-sector driven, will be funded by the government for a five-year period.

Government Seed Fund

A Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Collins Ntim, who was the chairman and moderator for the stakeholder engagement, said the government had provided a seed-fund of GH¢1 billion for the establishment and running of the Authority for five years.

He explained that the government envisaged that the initiative would be private-sector driven and was hopeful that after the five years the enabling environment would have been created for the private sector to fully take over the running of the authority.

However, he said when government intervention was required financially, it would not hesitate to help.

Mr Ntim described the GTCDA as an essential body that would help open up rural parts of the country to development.

He said it would also give meaning to the government's Planting for Exports and Rural Development (PERD) policy, which focuses on diversifying the country's tree crop exports.

Mr Ntim said tree crops such as cashew, mango, shea, coffee, oil palm, citrus and coconut which were being prioritised under the PERD policy would be given a major boost with the setting up of the GTCDA.

“Agriculture has a strong link with the development of local economies and so the ministry will fully support MoFA to see to the establishment of the GTCDA so that we can, together with the private sector, open up rural areas to development,” he added.


A Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Perennial Crops and Cocoa, Mr Kennedy Osei Nyarko, explained that the GTCDA would also assist to carry out scientific, technological and economic research to improve the tree crop sub-sector.
Source: Daily Graphic

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