Ghanaians have been urged to take pride in locally produced rice. According to the distributor of Sweet Floral Perfume Rice, Ghanaians have every cause to promote and patronize locally produced rice as against the imported rice which he disclosed is ‘usually full of chemicals’.
Mr. Eric Tetteh said Ghanaians consuming rice produced in Ghana comes with a number of advantages including its nutritional values.
“Ghanaians must promote and patronize our local rice, because the foreign rice imported into the country is full of chemicals,” he said.
He made this position known in an interview with Nana Ama Sarfo on the Food Safety, Nutrition and Hygiene segment of the Rite Morning Ride.
Local rice production in Ghana has the potential to meet local and international demand in the next few years as the commodity is the second most important cereal and major staple food in Ghana.
Mr. Tetteh who further extolled the qualities of the local rice observed that it has a longer life span and a higher quality compared to the foreign produce which offers the consumer value for money.
The distributor of Sweet Floral Perfume Rice described the local rice grown in Asutuare and other communities in the country as natural and free of additives.
He argued that there is very little difference between the foreign rice which is revered by local consumers and the locally produced rice, adding that the aroma which is valued by Ghanaian consumers is only a chemical effect of the applications subjected to the foreign rice.
“There is no difference between the local rice and foreign. The foreign rice has an aroma which is full of chemicals and that is why it is called perfumed rice,” Mr. Tetteh stated.
He was convinced that local rice was currently providing employment opportunities for the youth and pushed for its exploitation as a major business venture.
“Local rice production is creating employment in Ghana. Therefore, we must appreciate the cultivation of local rice as a major business venture which the youth can venture into to reduce the unemployment rate in Ghana,” he said.
Mr. Tetteh was particularly convinced that the exploitation of the local rice industry could provide employment for rice farm workers in the rice food value chain including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, distribution etc.
Several stakeholders have made calls for the restructuring of the local rice industry. According to them, the restructuring if properly done would inure to economic values of the nation.
The stakeholders argued that restructuring the industry would encourage Ghanaians to patronize local rice produce more than it is currently enjoying.
They said restructuring the industry will encourage Ghanaians to adapt the strategy of patronizing their locally manufactured products and hence contribute to the country’s economic growth.
At the Asutsuare irrigation project for instance, farmers are struggling with insufficient drying floors, a lack of milling machines and poor combined harvesters.
Besides these technical challenges, they are also facing high costs of production because of the access to the paying drying floors, expensive water bills and problems with the fertilizer subsidy programme.
According to the concerned callers, though Ghana’s local industries are doing everything possible to meet the needs of Ghanaians, governmental support to the sector has not been encouraging.
Source: Nana Ama Sarfoemail@example.com