Ghana is on course to achieving self-sufficiency in rice production, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture – MoFA, Robert Patrick Ankobeah, has said.
He said the government is prioritizing providing support to rice farmers and other agricultural producers because “if there is any sector where Ghana can easily achieve self-sufficiency, it is in the agricultural sector.”
“Ghana rice is just amazing. Ghana has great potential and the vision of the President for ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ is attainable. We are targeting self-sufficiency in rice by 2020. From the way things are going, we could even achieve it earlier,” Mr. Ankobeah said.
He was speaking at the 2019 Ghana Rice Festival at the Efua Sutherlands Park in Accra. The festival organized by the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) and the John A. Kufuor Foundation had the objective of celebrating Ghana’s burgeoning local rice industry.
It was used to showcase the various high quality, produced-in-Ghana rice brands. The occasion was also used to encourage Ghanaians to consume more Ghana rice brands.
MoFA, under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, announced in 2017 that it is working to ensure the nation increases local rice production within three years, and achieve 100% self-sufficiency by 2023.
The Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, Prof. Baffour Agyeman – Duah, noted that this vision is on course.
“We are all looking forward to 2023 when Ghana can start exporting rice. Ghana rice is more nutritious than a lot of the rice we import… We hope that in the near future, the government will make sure that Ghana rice is what feeds all Ghanaians.”
“We believe that very soon, with the right support and direction, Ghana will no longer import rice. All of us should cooperate. It is important for the government to give attention to the needs of rice farmers which they are doing now but should do more,” he said.
“The vision is simple. Ghana has good land and good water bodies. If we decide to produce rice, we can be a major exporter of rice. It doesn’t make sense to continue importing rice into the country and spending hugely. So, the former president (Kufuor) is urging us all to support the government to help make the country self-sufficient in food production,” Prof. Agyeman – Duah added.
The President of the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB), Nana Adjei Ayeh, expressed gratitude to the government and other agencies for their support to the local rice sector.
“Government wants us to help ensure that Ghana gets a formidable advocacy platform in the rice sector. It is great for the sector… Our Ghana rice is the best…,” he said.