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07 October 2016

Rice import costs Ghana US$500m annually

rice-bagsGhana is said to lose over 500million dollars every year through the importation of foreign rice.

This action has posed serious challenges to local rice production, making it uncompetitive in the local markets.

This was revealed by the Director of Finance and Administration at the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, Victor Kufuor at the launch of the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) in Accra.

According to him, the taste for foreign goods by Ghanaians have grown in recent times, affecting the balance of trade of the country. “We are importing over 500million dollars worth of foreign rice.

Why should we do that? Even some of the countries we are mentioning we probably are even better than them,” he said. The statistics comes at a time when the Trade Ministry is campaigning for Ghanaians to embrace and promote ‘Made in Ghana Goods’.

Providing some measures, Mr. Kufuor in an interview with Citi Business News stated that government should rather increase productivity by helping farmers to increase export of rice to improve the country’s foreign income. He maintained that Ghana has all the resources to improve its rice production for export. “It is just the focus.

We can overcome some of the issues and produce good quality rice then all these things can be wiped off. The local industries usually are the ones that move the countries forward because the moment you can produce and start exporting, then the foreign exchange that you are sending to Asia we get to keep. So that is the general idea and I think it will help us all if we can support the agenda.” he said.

The African Rice Advocacy Platform is a sub-regional platform aimed at ensuring rice sustainability in Africa.

Meanwhile, the Ghana rice festival is scheduled for the 7th and 8th of October at the Efua Sutherland Park in Accra. It is been organized by the Ghana Rice Interprofessional Body (GRIB) and the Ghana Rice Advocacy Council (GRAC).

Source: citifmonline.com

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