27.05.2005 Business & Finance

MOFA improving quality of local rice

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Accra, May 27, GNA - Mr Ernest Debrah, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), on Friday said the Ministry was facilitating an improved processing and packaging of rice harvested by local farmers.

"We have encouraged a group of investors to enter this sector. This is an important intervention because the problem with local rice is the quality arising out of poor processing and packaging techniques." Mr Debrah was answering a Parliamentary question posed by Mr Joe Kwashie Gidisu, NDC member for Central Tongu.

He had asked the Minister about institutional measures that had been put in place to boost local poultry and rice production in the wake of the reduction in the import tariffs on rice and poultry products. The Minister said MOFA in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, had agreed to supply some subvented institutions with local rice.

"So far this exercise, meant to develop the taste for local rice has been generally successful."

He said under the arrangement, brokers pick paddy from farmers, mill and supply to some educational institutions in Northern Ghana, the Prisons, the Military and the Ghana National Fire Service.

"Monies meant as subvention to these institutions are used to pay the brokers."

He said more parcels of lands were been irrigated to facilitate the cultivation of rice in the country.

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