Mr. John Awuni, Corporate Affairs Director of Finatrade Group Limited, a rice and beverage importing company, on Tuesday appealed to government to act swiftly on the weather
warning from Ghana Meteorological Services Department.
Mr Awuni who made this call in a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the warning that the rainfall pattern in the country would be erratic could affect the production of rice and other foodstuffs that thrive on rains.
Recently the Meteorological Services Department sent out a word of caution that there would be irregular rainfall this year adding that farmers who do not plant early may risk losing their crops to drought and other weather vagaries.
The Finatrade Corporate Affairs Director said incoming reports indicated that rice farmers in the three northern regions were already suffering, as some of them had their crops wilting.
He suggested to the government to consider stocking more food to counteract any negative fallouts that might arise from the situation. “This, I believe, they can do and do it better by collaborating with the private sector to store more food in readiness for any emergency, rather than staying aloof to suffer the consequences in the coming months.”
Mr Awuni also called on the government to step up surveillance at the country’s entry points to reduce the high rate of rice smuggling into the country.
“The current drop in rice importation was not due to more consumption of locally produced rice, but the rise in smuggling which was impeding the progress of legal importers.” He said legal rice importation was likely to reduce by 50 per cent as the smugglers sold much cheaper than those in the industry.