DEPUTY Minister of Food and Agriculture, Clement Eledi, has warned rice distributors and sellers to stop the unscrupulous practice of re-bagging locally produced rice into foreign labelled bags and selling them as imported rice.
He said market women and distributors have turned the negative acts that collapsed the textile industry, to the local rice industry too.
Mr Eledi was speaking at the official launch of the first ever “Keep Fit on the cocoa trial” in Accra on Wednesday.
The event seeks to link tourism with the promotion of health and fitness through the production and consumption of local foods with special emphasis on cocoa.
Keep fit on cocoa is slated for July 1 2006 starting from Kyebi through Bunso to the Cocoa Research Institute (CRIG) at Akyem Tafo.
Citing an example of how the local textile industry collapsed, Mr Eledi said: “Years ago Ghanaians would buy made-in-Ghana textiles prints and send them to neighbouring countries where Ghana Textile Printing (GTP) and Akosombo Textile Limited (ATL) labels were replaced with made in Holland labels and brought back to Ghana and sold at higher prices.”
He said this same practice re-occur in the local rice industry.
Mr Eledi said it has come to the notice of the Ministry of Agriculture that some distributors and market women buy locally produced rice of high quality and re-bag them in sacks with foreign production and inscription to make them appear as if they were imported. The same people turn around to condemn local rice, he added.
“Such attitudes and activities show the inferiority complex we are engulfed in and we must do away with it to promote indigenous products, especially what we eat, drink and wear.”
He called on people involved in such negative practices to purge their minds and desist from doing so, since their activities do not only exploit Ghanaians but also destroy the economy.
He pledged government's backing for people who seek to promote indigenization of production, especially what Ghanaians eat, drink and wear.