General News Sat, 24 Sep 2011

NAFCO to invest in rice production

In a bid to promote the patronage and consumption of locally produced rice, the National Food Buffer Stock Company [NAFCO], is set to invest in the acquisition of modern rice mills to maximize the production of local rice.

This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of NAFCO, Eric Osei-Owusu when he appeared on Multi TV’s political talk show Majority Caucus.

According to Mr. Osei-Owusu, NAFCO is working assiduously in partnership with government to promote the consumption of locally produced rice.

He noted that government for instance is distributing locally produced rice for use in the School Feeding Programme since its nutritional value is higher than that of imported rice.

NAFCO Mr. Osei-Owusu noted, currently has in store non-perishable crops like maize, rice and soya beans. “Rice and maize are the number one stable foods that are consumed in the country. Soya provides nutrients and supports the poultry industry” he explained.

He however indicated that although the company is doing very well, it still faces some challenges key among them being inadequate storage facilities. He however said his outfit will soon “invest more in storage [facilities], so that all over the country, we will have enough food stored at all points.”

Mr. Osei-Owusu dismissed perceptions that NAFCO and other allied institutions are aiding government to manipulate the market prices of food.

According to him, “every government has to be responsible and sensitive to food security problems. If you take food security, you have to know that it’s part of national security and therefore as a government if you are not able to take some measures that will help the situation, you may face some problems”.

“It is important that government takes interest in making sure that somehow the food situation is under control, I don’t think that we are in a way disturbing the market for any reason” he added.

Mr. Osei-Owusu said NAFCO is working hard to reach out to farmers across the country who grow crops that are of interest to the company.

“Don’t forget that what we do is to mop up excess food and so we should be targeting the areas in Ghana where the particular crops that we are dealing with are grown, that is why our presence is felt in areas like Northern Region, Upper East, Upper West Brong Ahafo, some parts of Ashanti and Eastern Region. We are trying to push it into central region as well. So we are making ourselves available everywhere” he added.

Source: multi tv