The Ghana Rubber Estates Limited (GREL) has presented dividend payments of 668,750 euros for 2021 to the Ministry of Finance.
Presenting the cheque, Managing Director of the company, Lionel Barre called on government to ban the export of raw rubber.
“We could develop bigger and faster than we are today. It is a pity that after all these years we are still focusing on supply chains and not investing in value chains. This has encouraged more people to export raw materials rather than add value to their products,” he said.
He advised that the decision of exportation must be a mutual consent among producers, processors and government.
“All these parties take decisions together, they determine when to export only when there’s excessive. But in Ghana, everybody can export as they want,” he added
According to him, the rubber industry can generate more revenue to support the economy if the right investments are made.
“Meanwhile in Ghana, all the funds are available to grow the rubber industry. The African Development Bank lent money to the government of Ghana through the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and National Investment Bank (NIB).
He stated that the farmers are not paying back the loans to the banks causing the banks to divert loan facilities to Asian exporters.
“These Asians do not employ, they do not generate inflow and evade tax from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) because they do not operate legally. This is also causing government to lose at all points including dividends,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah assured the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited that government will address all their challenges in building strong value chains.
“Your concerns are duly noted. They are challenges that affect all agricultural produce. We have all the supply chains but we’re not good with growing the value chains. We tend to ignore the need to add value to our raw materials before exporting. This is affecting other aspects of the economy like forex, employment. These are matters we take seriously and will make sure we improve on them,” he stated.