A former President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), James Asare Adjei, is asking the government to push for a proper policy direction towards local rice production.
This, he believes, will reduce the importation of rice to support the improvement of Ghana’s balance of payment.
Speaking to Joy Business, he called for more investments and a ready market for players within Ghana’s agriculture industry.
Mr. Adjei welcomed the partnership by Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) and some major rice industry players in Thailand to develop an integrated rice farming project.
He however wants government to provide technical and equipment support for the entire rice value chain in the country with the aim of producing rice for the local and export market.
“The current situation of the country demands bold decision by the government and policymakers. And for that matter, we think that what we will need is boosting local production and supporting indigenous Ghanaian businesses particularly in manufacturing”.
“One key area in which we have made strides in the past three to five years has been local rice production. Rice production in Ghana has moved from 50,000 metric tonnes to over 400,000 metric tonnes in a year which means when local producers are supported we can bridge the importation gap”, he stated.
He further explained that government should broadly engage key stakeholders in all sectors of the economy for solutions to the current happenings.
According to a report by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2018, paddy rice output grew at around 10% per annum between 2008 and 2019, with a sharp increase of 25% in 2019.
However, domestic production continues to fall short of demand with the import share of rice consumed remaining above 50%. This reflects a growing preference for rice among Ghanaian households, especially as consumers become wealthier and more urbanised
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