Africa must improve domestic rice production – Kufuor
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has reiterated the need for African countries to implement the right policy to produce and export quality rice to save cost.
He urged African leaders to take up the responsibility to produce enough local rice to feed the locals.
According to him, the joint responsibility of African countries to take up this course will ensure that progress is achieved.
“I believe Africa will rise to take the proper responsibilities for itself, produce all the rice we need, quality rice to feed our people and perhaps even export to other countries. It has come a bit late but we can still achieve It.” he said.
He explained that “We are involving more countries of our continent with the hope and expectations that sooner than later we would endorse the entire continent and make one huge market of the continent.”
President Kufuor made the assertion at the launch of the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) in Accra aimed at reducing importation of rice while the country improves its domestic rice production.
He urged African countries to try and curb the issue of importation of rice into the continent since its production locally can help create jobs while it boosts the continent’s Balance of Trade.
Rice import costs Ghana US$500m annually
The Former President made the remarks after it was revealed at the launch of the ARAP in Accra that Ghana loses over 500million dollars every year through the importation of foreign rice.
The action has posed serious challenges to local rice production, making it uncompetitive in the local markets.
According to the Director of Finance and Administration at the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, Victor Kufuor the taste for foreign goods by Ghanaians have grown in recent times, affecting the balance of trade of the country.
“We are importing over 500million dollars worth of foreign rice. Why should we do that? Even some of the countries we are mentioning we probably are even better than them,” he said.
The statistics comes at a time when the Trade Ministry is also campaigning for Ghanaians to embrace and promote ‘Made in Ghana Goods’.