General News of Thursday, 21 November 2019
Government is constructing 80 Warehouses to store surplus rice produced across Ghana.
Each of the Warehouses has a capacity of 1,000 metric tons, giving a total of 80,000 metric tons capacity.
Aside that, Government is making efforts to attract foreign investors into the rice subsector to help deal with the issue of rice surpluses and its marketing to help improve the income of rice farmers nationwide.
Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto made this known in an address to the media after he met with the rice technical team and importers to lay out plans towards the ban on the importation of rice.
According to him, government believed that marketing can be a constrain so there was the need to put in place the needed infrastructure.
He said 50 of the warehouses were being built by the Ministry of Special Initiatives while 30 was being built by the Food and Agriculture Ministry.
The Minister pointed out several initiatives that the Akufo-Addo’s government has put in place to improve rice production in Ghana since 2017.
According to him, in 2017, a total of 350, 000 metric tons of high-yielding rice seeds were distributed to farmers in the forest belt of the country.
In 2018, he said, a total of 700 metric tons of rice seeds were distributed.
The number, he said, increased to over 1,000 metric tons in 2019.
According to him, government was working to set up small mills to cater for cluster of rice farmers.
The Minister stressed that there was the need to add value to the surpluses because its neighboring countries cannot absorb all the surpluses.
He noted that the Akufo-Addo’s government was working hard to improve the livelihoods of farmers.
He lamented that until the current government came to power in 2017, the living standards of Ghanaians farmers was nothing to write home about.
The Minister stated emphatically that “Ghanaian farmers are the poorest group of workers in the country.”
He said Government was of the view that smallholder farmers can deliver if they were supported by the state.
He accused the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of scheming to frustrate Government’s agriculture programmes.
However, he stated that NDC has not been able to contest the immense economic and social impacts the Agriculture programmes of the Government have had on the lives of Ghanaian farmers over the last three years.