Actor cum politician, John Dumelo, has stated that the increase of foreign rice consumption in the country is due to relatively cheap prices compared to the local produce.
Despite numerous advocacy messages on the purchase and consumption of local rice, John Dumelo argued that Ghanaians will continue to prefer imported rice if the local market is void of a competitive pricing and branding.
“Once it’s cheap, it’s the best.” He maintained in a post on Instagram.
Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) have complained about the influx of foreign rice in the country which has adversely affected the sale of their produce.
According to the group, the perennial post-harvest issues have served as a disincentive for the growing of rice in the country.
The Ayawaso West Wuogon aspirant, indicated that though he is a farmer and supports the consumption of made in Ghana products,“the patriotic patience of Ghanaians will quickly run out if our local rice farmers don’t do anything about their pricing.”
He was quick to add that it may not be the fault of local farmers as far as pricing is concerned, particularly because the unit cost of producing a bag of rice depends on external factors such as high interest rates, taxes, fuel costs, which is usually beyond their control.
He called on various stakeholders as well as citizens to “do more to support farmers across the country.”
Meanwhile, government has announced its intention to solicit with rice importers to invest in local manufacturers for both domestic consumption and export.
At a press briefing, the Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said rice importation will reduce drastically in about three years time as the government builds the capacity of local rice farmers.
He added, “At the moment, we are in communication with the 20 biggest importers of rice in this country. We have had three meetings with them and we are telling them that, time is going to come soon when they cannot do business and give rice farmers in Thailand, Vietnam and America an opportunity to overcome our own. Our farmers were asleep because of the lack of government’s support.
“Therefore, it means that if you want to import rice into this country, it means that you are taking away bread from the mouth of Ghanaian farmers and giving it to those in Thailand. What we are now saying is that, in two- or three-years’ time, we will work out on an agreement for them to buy from local millers.
Read his full post below: