The Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) is calling on Government to change its strategy in supporting rice production efforts in the country.
This according to GRIB, it would ensure that the interventions employed over the years achieve the desired results.
Speaking with Joy Business at the inauguration of a Public-Private Dialogue Council on rice, President of GRIB, Imoro Amoro said rice farmers should be re-oriented to view rice production as a business venture.
“There’s this sort of tradition that is well-rooted in this part of the world – not only unique to Ghana but Africa where people want almost everything for free – we’re bringing you this, we’ve brought you that subsidized. No! It doesn’t work out this way because after you’ve stopped giving the people those inputs what do they do? They revert to their old ways of doing things and at the end of the day, the delivery becomes reversed.
“So we are trying to promote fee-based interventions – that if you’re a farmer you must be prepared to pay for some things that you need because you know at the end of the day this is an investment that will allow you to improve your output and you will make money” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the John Kufuor Foundation, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, who is the initiator of the dialogue, implored on government to make sure it gives all those in the value chain the necessary impetus to produce more.
“From our statistics it’s clear that 40% of farmers are ready to produce more than necessary only if they can get the necessary inputs including fertilizers, tractors and harvesters and all that – and of course also supporting the millers and the marketers and all that. Then certainly I think we can overcome.
“The fact is that we have done it before so there’s no magic to it. The policies of the early 70s are there to see, so I don’t see why we cannot begin to overcome this challenge that we face as a nation,” he said.