Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has urged government to put in place a Presidential policy to improve the production and marketing of Ghana Rice around the globe.
He urged governments to enforce its political will for the transformation of agriculture and the Ghana Rice sector.
The Former President underscored the need for everyday consumption in order to give greater impetus to the agriculture sector.
Speaking to this Journalist during a day’s visit by members of the Rice Value Chain in Ghana, Mr. Kufuor said apart from saving Ghana millions of foreign exchange, increased patronage of locally grown rice would strengthen production efforts, lead to increased investments, impact positively on the local economies of rice-growing areas and help achieve Government’s objective of ending the import of rice by 2024.
The day visit was organised by the John Agyekum Kufuor foundation (JAKF) with the aim to present and show some new varieties of Ghana Rice to the Former President. It will be recalled that the Former President started the rice campaign some 15 years ago dubbed “Sustainable Intensification of local rice now called Ghana rice”.
The Former President said we must adopt proactive measures to secure the Ghana rice industry and ensure a complete ban on the importation of rice to boost sales.
“I think it is about perception. Some years ago, we always thought Ghana rice had stones, packaging also wasn’t very nice. So, there is this perception in people’s minds that Ghana rice is not nice. It is not aromatic and it has issues but ten years down the line, things have changed. It is meeting the international standard,” she said.
The Founder of the (JAKF) foundation urged everybody to eat grown in Ghana rice. So for this Christmas, as you go out to buy your rice, please make sure you are buying rice which is grown in Ghana. Let’s buy and eat made in Ghana rice,” he said.
Leader of the delegation, Nana Ama Oppong Duah, also attributed the difficulty of Ghanaians patronizing local rice to perception.
The Policy Advisor at the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation used the opportunity to thank Former President John Agyekum Kufuor for helping Strengthen partnership among Rice Value Chain actors across the country.
Some executives present including farmers, millers, marketers/aggregators, input dealers, service providers, among others praised (JAKF) foundation for helping Strengthen partnership among them.
They revealed that, some years ago the Ghana Rice Inter Professional Body was almost dormant. But with the support of (JAKF) foundation we got some funds to get it revived and right now it’s becoming one of the most vibrant organisation promoting rice consumption in the country.
“Government can do as much but critically, at the end of the day, the ordinary Ghanaian also has a role to play, which is to make the deliberate decision in the national interest that, we have a problem, we have to deal with it, and we are going to begin to see a shift in our taste,” they added.