Business News of Tuesday, 10 October 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the Royal Farmers Rice, a premium parboiled long grain rice, which is locally produced to meet the rising demand for the produce and reduce its importation.
The launch, which marked the formal introduction of Royal Farmers Rice onto the Ghanaian market, was also a major boost for increased domestic rice production and processing.
Royal Farmers Rice is produce of Avnash Rice Mill, located at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of the Northern Region, which buys quality rice from local farmers for processing.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who launched the produce at Nyankpala on Sunday to round off his three-day visit to the region interacting with chiefs and people, described the operations of Avnash Rice Mill as a good signal that would help to attract more investments into the country.
He therefore challenged rice farmers to increase their production as there was a ready market for their produce.
Mr Jai Mirchandani, Director of Avnash Rice Mill said the processing plant, a state of the art facility with the capacity to processing 500 metric tonnes of paddy rice per day, was capable of feeding the entire country with the highest quality of rice.
Mr Mirchandani said “This year, we estimate the livelihoods of 32,000 farmers to benefit from this Rice Mill, while transporters, aggregators, mechanised service suppliers, inputs providers, and the families of an estimated 200,000 people.”
He said the company had committed in its Five-Year Plan to support and create at least one million jobs (direct and indirect) by 2022.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture disclosed that according to the 2016 figures of his Ministry, 1.1 billion dollars’ worth of rice was imported.
Dr Afriyie Akoto said the Planting for Food and Jobs programme would help rice farmers to increase their production to feed the Avnash Rice Mill, which was currently underperforming because rice produced locally was not enough to meet its capacity.
Meanwhile, Avnash Rice Mill expects increased rice production by farmers including Abanga Farms, a large scale rice producer, which has cultivated 1,200-acre rice farm in the Northern Region to help meet its demand.
Mr Thomas Abanga, Director of Abanga Farms said he had earmarked large acreages for rice cultivation next year to ensure regular high tonnage supply of high quality paddy rice to the rice processing sector to minimise the high volume of rice imported.