Rice Imports 'Killing' Ghana's Economy — Senior Minister
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo says Ghana spent $1.35 billion of its revenue to import rice in 2017.
Delivering a speech at the consultation forum on the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid for Northern Ghana in Tamale’ on Wednesday, the Minister stated that proceeds made from exports are used to import rice although the country was capable of cultivating and producing the crop.
“We have natural resources in abundance; we have arable land and favourable climate. Ghana has no business to be importing any food from anybody,” he stated.
”$1.35 billion of your hard foreign exchange for rice is unacceptable and there must be change and a change now,” he said.
The ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda envisioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a complete package aimed at propelling Ghana to become a beacon of economic liberty in Africa by 2028.
The agenda details some notable aspirations for economic growth, industrialisation, governance, and many more.
The Senior Minister also added that Ghana has enough resources to develop on its own the reason President Akufo-Addo is advocating for a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“Ghana and Guinea alone control 80 per cent of the world’s bauxite and if well managed, this country could be the lead bauxite exporter in the world,” he stated.
The minister observed that in recent times people preferred imported rice, making it nearly impossible to ban rice imports.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said for ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda to be achieved in the agricultural sector, the country must adopt a programme of production to help support people in the agrarian sector.
“We have to establish initiatives to help those who do not have enough capital and provide them with seedlings and fertilizer,” he stated.
Ghana Beyond Aid secretariat has begun consultations with Ghanaians on the President’s proposed Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
The consultation is to seek the views and suggestions of Ghanaians and to clear questions people may have.
To that effect, a town hall meeting is being held in Tamale on Wednesday. A session was held for academia on Tuesday at the University for Development Studies.