Senyo Hosi proposes ‘Rice Development Levy’ to increase rice production

Local Rice567 Rice

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A Financial and Economic Policy analyst, Senyo Hosi, has suggested to the government to introduce a “Rice Development Levy” in a bid to increase rice production in the country.

He made the statement following the Bank of Ghana’s decision to withdraw forex support for importers of certain commodities including rice.

Stakeholders and trade unions have however disagreed with the move by the Central Bank.

According to them, if the BoG withdraws the support, it will push the cost of the affected products up as importers may find other means to import these essential items.

But Senyo Hosi is of the view that if Ghana moves to support local production, dependence on rice importation will be curtailed.

“Rather than withdrawing FX support from importers, the Government could have created the Rice Development Levy or Tax, and monies gotten from this levy will come with a clear structured framework from seed production to land tenure management, irrigation to paddy production and milling and all the banks will follow with capital to support it,” he is quoted by norvanreports.com

The Central Bank earlier this month, announced the withdrawal of FX support for importers of rice, chicken, cooking oil, ceramic, bottled water, fruit juice, and other goods.

A message from the Central Bank to Commercial Banks said “In accordance with the President [Akufo-Addo] directive issued at his recent address to the nation on the Ghanaian economy, on Sunday 30th October 2022, the Bank of Ghana will no longer provide FX support for the imports of rice, poultry, vegetable oils, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, ceramic tiles and other non-critical goods”.

“The government will, in May 2023, that is six (6) months from now, review the situation. We must, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, as demanded by our overarching goal of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid.

“Much as we believe in free trade, we must work to ensure that the majority of goods in our shops and marketplaces are those we produce and grow here in Ghana.

“That is why we have to support our farmers and domestic industries, including those created under the 1-District-1-Factory initiative, to help reduce our dependence on imports, and allow us the opportunity to export more and more of our products and guarantee a stable currency that will present a high level of predictability for citizens and the business community,” the notice read.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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