Ghana: Parliament Passes the Tree Crops Development Bill

In an important step towards realizing the establishment of a Tree Crops Development Authority in Ghana, the nation’s parliamentarians have at plenary deliberated on and finally passed the Tree Crops Development Bill.

The passing of the Bill follows discussions within Parliament, conclusion of work by the Committee of Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, and the presentation of their report to the plenary.

Multiple engagements and consultations with stakeholders in the Ghanaian tree crops industry including public institutions and private organisations were conducted, while the Committee was considering the Bill. During this phase, the African Cashew Alliance played a role in advocating for consideration of cashew industry private sector interests.

Tree Crop Development Bill currently includes four tree crops (cashew, oil palm, shea and rubber), with provisions in place to allow future inclusion of other tree crops.

The Tree Crop Development Bill contains twenty-seven clauses that cover diverse issues towards the set-up of an entity regulating the Ghanaian tree crops industry:

  1. Clause 1 to 4 seek to establish the Tree Crops Development Authority as a corporate body; regulate the management, production, processing and trading in tree crops; deal with the Object and Functions of the Authority; and the governing board of the Authority regarding the membership, operations and policy issues.
  2. Clause 5 to 7 provide for the standard provisions on the tenure of office of the Board, meetings of the Board and disclosure of interests.
  3. Clause 8 to 11 make provision for the establishment of committees, payment of allowances, creation of regional offices of the Authority; and directives to the Board on matters of policy.
  4. Clause 12 to 14 deal with the administration and appointment of the Executive Officer and other staff to the Authority.
  5. Clause 15 to 22 capture the financial provisions of the Authority including the establishment of the Tree Crops Fund and the appointment of a body to manage the fund.
  6. Clause 23 to 27 cover miscellaneous matters.

The Authority is expected to be established by end of the first quarter of next year, though the Bill may permit the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to introduce some policies at the start of the season in January 2020.

ACA expects the Authority to be operational by September 2020, when Ghana will host the 14th ACA Annual Cashew Conference in Accra.