This year's Yuletide has a special feature which many have not observed. For the first time in the history of rice production, the staple has received a boost from the Presidency on the threshold of Xmas.
There is a marked rise in Ghanaians going to the market with the intention of buying grown-in-Ghana rice. It is a wonderful development which we must all as a matter of urgency support.
There is a seeming magic about the presidential campaign for local rice as the rising demand is palpably evidenced. We might not have the statistics about the rising demand for the staple but credible information from the market points to that direction which for us is heartwarming.
A woman who went to the Agric Ministry near the Court Complex in Accra with an intention to buy the locally grown rice returned from the mission with a positive story. She reported noticing an unusual patronage.
Now that the Presidency has joined in the campaign and consumers are responding positively, it is for the appropriate state agencies to maintain the heat until all Ghanaians switch over to locally produced rice; that is the way to go doubtlessly.
The advantages in a positive response to the campaign are enormous the most outstanding of all being the strengthening of the cedi and the creation of employment opportunities for more Ghanaians.
The amount of foreign exchange, which goes into the import of rice and the fallout of the transactions on the value of the cedi, is not far-fetched.
The patronage for locally produced rice for us should be put on a patriotic footing. Indeed, schoolchildren should be educated about the subject so that they grow with this fact etched on their memories.
With the impetus now created, it would not be difficult to increase the momentum and to eventually reduce to the barest minimum our dependence on imported rice.
We are aware that importers of so-called Basmati and other qualities of the staple from Asia would resort to other means of sabotaging the drive. That notwithstanding, we must not relent but increase the pressure on the campaign.
Our social marketing experts should be engaged to assist us with a more effective means of reaching out to us all with well packaged campaign stuff in this drive.
Xmas in Ghana would be incomplete without the patronage of locally produced rice.
As we prepare to celebrate Xmas, we must bear this in mind and include Ghana rice on our list of purchases.
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