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Business News of Wednesday, 19 February 2020


Government to boost confidence in rice sector

File photo: Rice farm File photo: Rice farm

The government is taking steps to boost confidence in the rice sector by addressing the issue of gluts and ensuring that rice farmers get value for money and were motivated to increase production, the Ghana News Agency has learnt.

In pursuit of that agenda, and to improve the rice value chain, farmers were being incentivized to produce more paddy rice, while solar-powered millers have been procured for processing, all in an effort to prepare the country towards reducing rice imports.

Issa Alhassan, the Press Secretary to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, said the government took delivery of four millers in December and dispatched them to four strategic rice farming areas to address the problem of inadequate capacity for milling paddy rice.

He said the millers, which have been dispatched to New Edubiase and Ejura, both in the Ashanti Region, Yamoransa in the Central Region and Fumbisi in the Upper East Region, were part of efforts by the government to boost the cultivation and consumption of rice locally.

Currently, he said, the installation of the milling facilities was nearing completion and would be used to mill the paddy for the up-coming dry season as a pilot to test it efficacy and then would be upscale to other rice producing areas in the Upper East and West.

In addition to the four millers, Mr Alhassan said the government had received over 1000 small multipurpose shellers that could process rice.

Commenting on the recent fire, which ravaged the produce of some rice farmers, he hinted that the government was working with the leadership of Peasant Farmers Association (PFA), having already received the details of the affected farmers and preparing for them.

“This is a natural disaster and livelihoods have been lost, so we will put them on some special incentive arrangement and cushion them through the supply of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers,” he added.

Mr Alhassan said that the sector Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had set up a rice technical team made up of importers, millers, processors and representatives from the Ministry of Finance to discuss the ministry’s drive towards self-sufficiency in rice production by 2022.

The Committee would come out with a comprehensive solution to post harvest loses, processing, marketing, distribution to end rice gluts.