As to why the southern state of India bans Coca Cola and Pepsi, Ghana surely has something to learn…
It may seem impossible, but a state in India has made a brave move to ban the purchase of some foreign products in order to grow and support the country’s economy. Two of the biggest trade associations in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have called for a boycott of Pepsi and Coca Cola products from March 1, 2017.
The associations; Federation of Tamil Nadu Traders Associations (FTNTA) and Tamil Nadu Traders Associations Forum (TNTAF) are angered by the fact that such foreign soft drink companies take too much water from rivers, leaving farmers struggling to irrigate their land at a time of severe drought.
The prevalence of these foreign companies on the Indian market which poses a threat to the country’s socio-economic growth gave rise to the drastic decision by the traders association.
More so, while the gross domestic product (GDP) of Tamil Nadu is $250 billion (the second largest in the world), 21% of its contribution is from agriculture -hence, the major reason behind the drastic move. The traders’ associations are also of the stand that foreign-made drinks are not good for the health, which is why the country needs to embrace the manufacturing of local soft drinks and juices for commercial purposes.
The ban which becomes effective from March 1, will see to the scarcity of multinational Coca Cola brands across the region. More than a million shopkeepers are expected to comply with the ban. Supermarkets, restaurants and hotels have been urged to follow the directive in order to help India’s local businesses, as well as farmers prosper.
As a matter of fact, there has been a decline in the sales of Coca Cola products since the announcement by the associations to implement the boycott from March 1. Traders have stopped stocking their shops with Coca Cola and Pepsi products.
Indian Beverage Association (IBA) Unhappy About Ban
The Indian Beverage Association (IBA) has bemoaned the ban of multinational Coca Cola brands in Tamil Nadu. The IBA says the ban is against the proven fundamentals of robust economic growth.
According to the body, Coca-Cola and Pepsi alongside India, provide direct employment to 2,000 families in Tamil Nadu and more than 5,000 families indirectly -significantly tackling unemployment. The IBA hopes that the agitating traders would quit the rebellious act. The body also hopes that consumers will continue to have the right to exercise their choice in Tamil Nadu.
But the associations have however taken their patriotism to another level, as they are convinced that the surge in the patronage of such foreign products, is an impediment to the country’s growth. The two largest associations in the state FTNTA and TNTAF have also said they have the support of over a million of retailers in the state.
As the southern state of India bans Coca Cola and Pepsi, both the former and the latter are yet to comment on the issue.
What Ghana can Learn
There is obviously so much to be drawn from the epic gesture emphasized above. Ghana which has a diverse and rich resource base, remains heavily dependent on international, financial and technical assistance. The country imports mostly industrial supplies, capital and consumer goods.
However, to follow the footsteps of the Asian country, Ghana can start by improving its local manufacturing sector. This will reduce the nation’s increasing import bills, which have grossly increased over the years. This will require a collaborative efforts of the government, economic stakeholders, as well as ordinary citizens.
Ghanaians have been urged to patronize local products which have never proved unreliable over the years.