Ghana has cut down importation of rice by 30 per cent and improved local production by 59 per cent. This achievement according to Agric Minister, Kwesi Ahwoi is as a result of government’s commitment to improve the agriculture sector to create more job opportunities.
Government is poised to produce 20,000 metric tonnes of “highest grade” quality rice by 2012 to reduce rice importation. To this end, interventions such as providing the necessary machinery and promotion of Private Public Partnership policy have been intensified to enable Ghana increase rice production to meet the target.
Currently, Ghana spends about 450 million dollars annually on rice importation to augment local demand. The country’s self-sufficiency in rice production stands at about 30 per cent, leaving a short fall of 70 per cent.
Agric minister, Kwesi Ahwoi is excited about strides made by government to improve local production. According to Kwesi Ahwoi, “when the NDC took over power in 2009, the sector had no combined harvester to harvest the rice produced locally”.
As it stands, the Agric sector has purchased 165 combined harvesters to improve production and harvest of rice. A visit to the Nima, Mallam Atta, and Madina markets in Accra, have proven the Ministry's achievements as every food crop stand visited, had local rice displayed.
This, according to the Minister, attested to the work done by the Ministry so far in improving local rice production.
Aishatu, a rice trader, who spoke to Joy News says she “prefers local rice to the imported ones”. The vision of every country is to have a modernized agricultural sector to support the growth of its economy. And for this to work, Ghanaians must all be consuming local rice this Christmas and beyond.