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Local rice production on the verge of collapse - Rice farmers

Local Rice567 Rice imports

Fri, 28 Jan 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Imported rice is cheaper than local rice due to benchmark value, Rice farmers

Expert calls for urgent government intervention in domestic rice production

Imports supersede domestic production, Rice farmers


President of the Rice Millers Association of Ghana, Mike Darko, has warned that local rice production in Ghana may collapse if government does not expedite actions to reverse import discounts at the ports.

Speaking to JoyNews, Mike Darko said the 50% benchmark value has led to the increase in consumption of imported rice as compared to the consumption of local rice.

“These off-takers are comparing prices to imported rice products that are more than half the price less of local rice due to the benchmark value. These rice farmers have no option but to store their rice produce in their homes, warehouses and places convenient for paddy rice,” he disclosed.

Chief Executive of the Agribusiness Chamber, Anthony Morrison, says to avoid food waste, government must act swiftly and invest in becoming the major buyer of local rice production in Ghana to create a ready market for local rice production.

He made this call after thousands of bags of rice produce harvested during the last farming season have not been sold.

He also said rice off-takers in the region have stopped buying from them because imported rice has become cheaper due to the ‘benchmark value’ policy.

In an interview on JoyNews, Anthony Morrison stated that “Government must buy out all paddy rice in the system to avert food waste. This is the only strategy we can use. Some rice farmers are burning the paddy rice because there are no buyers. This can erode the government’s quest to be rice sufficient by 2025”.

Rice is one of Ghana’s major staple foods but domestic production has not been able to meet demand over the years leading to over $200 million worth of rice imports annually.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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