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Ghana aims to make the production of rice from farmers sufficient for all by 2022, a Deputy Minister of Agriculture has announced.
This will result in a ban on the importation of the commodity.
Kennedy Osei Nyarko gave this hint on The Key Points on TV3 and 3FM on Saturday, November 23.
He was speaking in the wake of cries by some rice farmers in Fumbisi in the Upper East Region that their produce have not attracted buyers this year.
But information gathered after a visit to farms by the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) indicated that the farmers were disappointed by major buyer Avnash after assurances were given prior to cultivation.
Mr Osei Nyarko said government has put in place plans to open up the market to have locally produced rice consumed by the huge chunk of the population.
Notwithstanding, farmers are blaming the situation on the importation of the produce from foreign markets.
But the Deputy Agric Minister insists the production scale does not, thus far, meet the overall demand of the country.
“Until we get to a point that we are able to produce enough to meet our annual consumption of 1.35 million tonnes, we cannot ban [importation of rice],” he told Abena Tabi in a phone interview on the show.
He said his ministry is inching closer to meeting its target of 800,000 metric tonnes of rice production by close of 2019.
“We have given ourselves that as a country by 2022, we should be able to be self-sufficient in rice production to ban the import of rice into this country.
“You cannot just ban imports when you cannot meet the consumption rate of the country.”
But a local rice farmer, Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, contested the minister, insisting that there is enough to feed the entire populace of Ghana.
He said what is making rounds in the media is only production by farmers at Fumbisi, not to talk about those in the Northern Region, Volta Region and even Central Region, where he says production has upped among farmers.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana