Various stakeholders in the rice value chain have met in Accra to reaffirm their commitment to end rice importation by 2023.
The meeting organized by the John Ageykum Kufuor (JAK) Foundation brought together the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), Ghana Commodity Exchange and the Standards Authority to discuss strategies on how to achieve the set target to guard against the practice and also to ensure rice is a sustainable venture in the country.
It also brought on board private sector groups who would be working with Ghanaian farmers by providing them with harvesters and other logistic services.
The meeting was also to see how to support the advocacy, production, processing and marketing issues in the rice value chain.
Further, it was to proffer solutions to how the rice value chain could be developed in the various regions for the country to attain the sustainability in rice production and also improve the quality of rice grown in Ghana.
Speaking on the sidelines with journalists after the opening session, President of GRIB, Nana Ayeh Adjei II, disclosed that GRIB was expecting, before the end of the year, a mechanization provider company coming in to mop up the paddy rice into warehouses to ease the issue of late harvesting.
He said the meeting was going to provide plans to how all farmers in the regions would grow quality rice and get good market outlets and prices for them.
Touching on Covid-19, he said it had not had any major impact in the value chain apart from the fact that it had slowed in the retail.
Consumption of local rice, he also said, had gone up and wanted to see higher rate.
Nana Ama Oppong Duah, Policy Advisor of the JAK Foundation, said the engagement was part of the AGRA and Kufuor Foundation project.
The project was to support advocacy, production, processing and marketing in the value chain, she said.
At the beginning of the year, the stakeholders went around the country twice to mobilize farmers at the regional level, according to her.
Due to coronavirus, the process was stopped but it was being resumed with the help of Zoom.
By Melvin Tarlue