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Charcoal imports on the rise as purchaser say imports are better grade than locally-produced

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The low grade of some locally produced charcoal is charging the choice of a few Ghanaians to use imported ones, which clients note are processed, effective, clean and does not produce ash or sparks, Prosper Ahmed Amuquandoh, Inspector in-charge of Renewable Energy at the Energy Commission has said.

“Some of the charcoal that is produced locally produces ash, it burns faster – it is not efficient; and some of them, depending on the kind of tree that was used to produce the charcoal, produce sparks. For instance, if you use a shea nut tree to produce charcoal you are most likely to have sparks.

“But the imported ones have been processed, are efficient and clean, do not produce ash or sparks and are packaged. These and other factors are why people purchase the imported ones,” Mr. Amuquandoh said to B&FT in an interview.

According to him, despite the fact that the marketplace for the imported product isn’t always big it’s rising; and its existing is not because locals aren’t capable of meet their demand, however due to the fact a few locals aren’t assuring the marketplace of the grade needed.

He was very quick to add up that a few local producers have began producing good charcoal, not to satisfy local needs but also for export. These locals are being policed by Energy Commission to make sure that they observe the laid-down policies for production and export of the commodity.

Meanwhile, the B&FT has gathered that the Energy Commission is working to develop regulations for the local market to ensure their activities are not only sustainable but also environmentally friendly. The regulation will also deal with transportation, packaging and marketing of charcoal for local use. One of the key points in the regulations is to curtail the indiscriminate felling of trees for production of charcoal, which already exists in the regulations for export.

From available data via the Energy Commission, the majority of imported charcoal is consumed by households – especially middle to upper-class income earners. Also, charcoal constitutes the largest portion of energy usage in Ghana. One of the reasons for this development has been ascribed to cultural beliefs; that some delicacies taste better and are healthier if cooked with charcoal.

According to IndexBox, a leading market research publisher in the world, the global wood charcoal market revenue amounted to US$24.2billion in 2018 – remaining relatively unchanged against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The market worth rise at an average annual rate of +2.6% from 2007 to 2018; the fashion sample indicated a few important fluctuations being recorded during the analysed period. Global wood charcoal intake peaked in 2018, and is probably to maintain its increase in the immediate term.

The countries with maximum volumes of wood charcoal in 2018 wrere Brazil (5.5m tonnes), Ethiopia (4.4m tonnes) and Nigeria (4.2m tonnes). They collectively accounted for 28 percentage of world intake. These countries are observed by India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Tanzania, China, Thailand, Madagascar, Egypt and Zambia, which together accounted for a similarly 33 percentage.




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