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20.11.2019 Opinion

The Rice Campaign: Adopting Domestication Principles To End Economic Woes

By Jessey Kuntu Blankson
The Rice Campaign: Adopting Domestication Principles To End Economic Woes
NOV 20, 2019 OPINION

Growing what we eat and buying what we produce campaign is a well-intended government initiative to curb the importation of food products in the country. Agriculture plays a heavy role in our GDP growth.

The ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda envisioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should be noted as a complete package aimed at ending foreign products flooding the Ghanaian markets.

The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, disclosed that Ghana spent $1.35 billion of its revenue to import rice in 2017. The revenue money could be used for something else. Ghana has everything in abundance.Why do we need to import rice at such a cost? Is it because of the packaging, taste and preference of consumers? Absolutely I believe this should not be the case.

The late Dan Lartey imprint of "Domestication " campaign needs to be observed and revisited by our authorities.His son,Dr Henry Herbert Lartey once said,"until Ghana adopted the domestication policies introduced by the GCPP and created an enabling atmosphere for businesses to produce locally, the problems confronting Ghana's economy would not be over any time soon".He attributed the current state of the country's economy to the over-reliance on foreign support and lack of assistance for local industries.

The rice campaign details some notable aspirations for economic growth, industrialisation, governance, and many more.

The role played by School Feeding Programme Secretariat in patronising made in Ghana products is among the campaigns that cannot also be given a deaf ear to. The fundamental principle of growth is about patronising local products.

We all need to support this laudable initiative to boost our Agric sector and at the same time create jobs for our people.

As we uphold and defend the good name of Ghana, there is a need to insist on the owners to stock their shop with only made in Ghana products. Nevertheless, Christmas will soon be approaching and there is the need for our Makola women to flood their shop with made in Ghana products. Hampers and other gifts from Ambassadors of various agencies are all foreign made products. The Ambassador in various embassies even promotes their foreign products. Various agencies and institutions should provide only made in Ghana Hampers to their hardworking staff.

Measures must be put in place to drastically cut down import of foreign rice to flood our markets for consumers to purchase the equally quality rice our farmers churn out.

The government should consider serving local dishes at important gatherings .All products should be locally made. Matrons at Flagstaff house and parliament should procure the local rice and other products to all presidential staffers and parliamentarians.

The citizens must love to buy made in Ghana products and should be well packaged and marketd. The media core role and activities is to inform and improve the well being of the people of the day they are serving.

The government must also reduce the importation of rice and impose higher taxes on foreign rice thereby making it unattractive to make patronage of this products. Ghana’s Parliament need to enact laws to protect local rice producers’. By the power vested in the law makers by their constituents, the legislative body should enact laws that will compel hoteliers and restaurant operators to use locally produced rice to feed their clients.Our farmers produce quality locally produced aromatic rice. At Fumbisi and Yagaba, farmers are lamenting ober low patronage.Last year stock is still unsold.

Patronising made in Ghana products would help government’s commitment in creating an enabling environment for the growth of Ghanaian businesses.

This would be achieved through a concerted efforts by all stakeholders to promote locally made products.

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