By Mary Dompreh:
President of the Ghana Agriculture and Rural development Journalists Association, GARDJA has charged the administration of the New Patriotic Party to minimize the importation of rice into the country. Mr. Richard Frimpong who was speaking on the Rite FM Agro news decried the habit of rice importation into the country which he said has left many farmers impoverished.
According to him, Ghana’s insatiable desire for rice importation has rather given the urge to foreign producers over their local counterparts. Mr. Frimpong who believes that 90% of produce used for the school feeding programme for instance should come from local producers was convinced that such a step would result in a financial empowerment of the local farmer.
In response to regular complaints of stones in the local rice by consumers, the GARDJA president noted that the imported rice did not become perfect overnight, suggesting that it also had its down moments before attaining its position as a preferred brand.
He therefore urged local producers of rice not to despair, adding that the local rice industry stands the chance of attracting investors who would come in with the requisite equipment to destone it and eventually raise it to the preferred standard. The group is thus calling on the new government to put in place measures to aid the local rice industry.
The group president who cited the examples of the stiff competition between local rice and the imported brands noted that many consumers do complain that though local rice tastes good, it is very expensive, adding however that things of good quality are more expensive than those of lesser quality.
He advised local consumers against patronizing foreign rice which according to him is the ‘left-over’ of foreign produce which are sometimes produced over twenty-years before being shipped to Ghana and other African countries.