Ghanaians have been urged to buy locally grown rice this Christmas, on other festive occasions and for everyday consumption to give greater impetus to the agriculture sector.
Apart from saving Ghana millions of foreign exchange, increased patronage of locally grown rice would bolster production efforts, lead to increased investments, impact positively on the local economies of rice-growing areas and help achieve Government’s aim of ending the import of rice by 2024.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, made the call in Ho, Volta Region on Monday 2nd December 2019 when he opened a one-week Agricultural Fair as part of activities marking this year’s Farmers Day celebrations.
Vice President Bawumia reiterated the commitment of the Nana Akufo-Addo administration to the agriculture sector, evidenced by implementing policies and programmes such as the various modules under the Planting for Food and Jobs concept, and increased supply of seeds, fertilisers, farming implements and Agriculture Extension Officers
Government, Dr Bawumia indicated, is doing its part not only to increase the amount of irrigated publicly available land through the construction of major dams such as Pwalugu and expansion of the irrigation potential of the Bui Dam, and the One Village One Dam in the northern parts of the country, but is also investing in the fisheries subsector.
Vice President Bawumia urged players in the Agriculture sector to be abreast of changes in methods and the increasing introduction of technology into agriculture, noting “Today’s agribusiness thrives on quick access to the latest, accurate and valuable information on new products, methods and systems of production as well as avenues for marketing of agricultural products.
The One Week fair, which would showcase products from all 16 regions, would bring together key stakeholders such as farmers, aggregators, processors, input dealers, researchers, policymakers and implementers and provide an opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing.
The Vice President’s call has come after the CEO of Citi FM/Citi TV, Samuel Attah-Mensah declared himself an ambassador for the consumption of local rice.
He has launched the Ghana Rice Campaign to boost consumption of local varieties of the staple.
Ghana’s voracious appetite for imported rice according to some stakeholders has had an apparent negative effect on the national economy, thus the call to reduce or halt the over-dependence.