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Business News of Friday, 22 November 2019


Government takes steps to address rice marketing issues

Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto

Dr Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, says the Government is taking steps to address the rice marketing issues and that the farmers will not lose their produce.

“I want to assure farmers that their sweat would not go to waste. Be patient with the Government… your stock will be bought,” he said.

He said the Ministry, through the Planting for Foods and Jobs, is improving living conditions within farming communities by ensuring better yields and good prices for their produce.

He said the Government had put in measures and was in consultation with investors from Britain and South Africa to make sure that surpluses were properly processed for export.
At a press engagement, the Minister said the bumper harvest, this year, was due to government’s initiatives through the introduction of improved seeds to farmers.

He said about 650,000 metric tonnes of rice had been produced, so far, and the Ministry, together with the Buffer Stock Company, was building 80 warehouses to store harvested produce.

He said government was working systematically and by the provision of improved seeds, harvests would increase, which would be followed by other initiatives to reach its expected targets.

Dr Akoto said he was optimistic that by the first quarter of next year the warehouses would be ready to store a total of 80,000 metric tonnes in that each storage would house 1,000 metric tonnes of rice.

“This would double the nationwide storage capacity, we are also importing rice mills to help in the processing of rice to meet expected standards for local consumption and export for economic growth,” he said.

He explained that markets would be available for the produce hence one need not to have 600,000 metric tonnes capacity warehouse to solve the challenge.

He said the initiative had provided jobs for many and brought hope to farmers and their families and about 794,944 jobs had been created along the value-chain.

The Ministry, he said, was working with all actors in the value chain including 20 rice importing companies in the country to discuss the way forward regarding importation of rice.

He said the Ministry’s target was to reach one million tonnes of rice within the next three years, which would be enough to serve the populace.

“Countries within the Continent have come around to learn from the Ghanaian success story in the Agricultural sector.”