Government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has reiterated its position to make Ghana self-reliant in the production of rice.
The initiative is to resolve the rice importation puzzle of the country as well as decrease the rice importation.
The Chief director at the Ministry of Food and agriculture, Mr Robert Patrick Ankobiah who gave the assurance at the 2019 Rice Festival in Accra indicated that these could be achieved through financial assistance, fertiliser distribution and mechanisation.
The event which attracted stakeholders in the agric sector was organised by the John A. Kufour Foundation and the Ghana Rice Interprofessional body on the theme “Mobilising to achieve rice self- sufficiency, the role of an investor in the rice sector.
On display at the event were a variety of rice, fertiliser, improved seeds, agro-chemicals, modern farming equipment and other inputs.
It was attended by rice farmers, actors in the value chain production of rice and members of the GRIB and designed to bring rice farmers and input dealers together to network towards improving the rice industry in the country.
The festival also served as an advocacy tool to further promote the consumption of local rice.
He said agriculture was the backbone of the economy and tackling local rice production was the way to go to make the country self dependent.
President of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional body, Nana Agyei Ayeh II outlined mechanisation of rice farms as a challenge in many parts of the country and called for the government’s assistance to help mechanise rice farming in the country.
He said fertiliser in the country remained a challenge thus appealed for help to subsidise fertiliser for rice farmers.
He said an all-year-round subsidised fertiliser dispensation would enable rice farmers to produce more rice and boost production by at least five per cent.
According to him, when proper attention was given to rice production, it would reduce the unemployment rate by 20 per cent and improve the standard of living among the teeming youth both in the urban and the rural areas.
The Chief Executive officer of the John Agyekum Kufour Foundation, Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, said the country had the capacity to produce enough rice for both local consumption and for export.
According to him, the country had the best climate condition for rice farming and that it was not in the country’s interest to rely on rice importation.
He assured rice farmers of his outfit’s support to help grow the agriculture sector.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY