The National Rice Coordinating Committee has been inaugurated to help make Ghana self-sufficient in rice production.
The Minister for Food and Agriculture approved the establishment of the National Rice Coordinating Committee (NRCC) with the mandate to coordinate and create synergies among rice value chain stakeholders to boost production, processing, marketing and consumption of Ghana rice.
The Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of Annual Crops, Honourable Yaw Frimpong Addo inaugurated the National Rice Coordinating Committee with an assurance that the government is committed to making Ghana self-sufficient in rice production. He says the establishment of the committee emphasizes government’s commitment to addressing the rice demand and supply gap issues.
In his inauguration address, he emphasized government’s commitment to closing the rice demand and supply gap in order to make the country competitive and self-sufficient in rice production.
Hon. Frimpong Addo says government will continue to support the rice sector with the necessary tools to ensure productivity enhancement and quality improvement such as installation of state-of-the-art processing facilities and efficient domestic marketing systems. “These call for a holistic approach and strenuous efforts by all stakeholders to work tirelessly to achieve the intended target,” he noted.
The National Rice Coordinating Committee and the Technical sub-Committee of the NRCC were inaugurated by the Deputy Minister at Alisa Hotel in Accra to oversee policy and technical issues respectively when it comes to the rice sector.
The Policy sub-committee will be responsible for giving policy direction with respect to emerging technical issues that require executive interventions while the Technical sub-committee will be responsible for all rice development initiatives in-country.
The NRCC has 14 members and is chaired by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture. Other members on the committee include the Chief Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), some directors at the ministry, Chief Executive of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, and the Director of Agricultural Engineering Services Directorate. The rest are representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Industry, Local Government, the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), and John A. Kufuor Foundation.
Then there is the 23-member technical sub-committee which is chaired by the Director of Crop Services at MOFA. Other members include representatives from various directorates of MOFA, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Investment Promotion Council, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, GRIB, National Seed Traders Association, Hopeline Institute, among others.
“The respective committee members have a duty to serve and therefore are charged to work assiduously to realize the goal of developing and implementing a national rice strategy that will enable Ghana achieve the goal of self-sufficiency by 2024,” the deputy minister said.
The tasks of the committee include harmonizing the development and implementation of rice research and development programmes and projects nationwide to improve their management. It also has to work towards developing common strategies to address challenges and explore opportunities along the rice value chain. The committee will also oversee the preparation of Rice Sector Development Policy. It will additionally provide guidance for the implementation of the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) and other rice related programmes and projects. The committee will finally help set up an up-to-date rice database and collaborate with the sub-region, regional and international organizations in rice sector development.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), with support from the Coalition of African Rice Development (CARD), formulated the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) with a goal of doubling domestic rice production within a ten (10) year period (2008 – 2018).
Ghana was able to attain the goal of doubling its domestic rice production in line with the NRDS during the first phase of CARD largely by area expansion than productivity. The second phase of CARD (2019 – 2030), has a goal of doubling domestic rice production for all CARD member countries in line with the RICE (Resilience; Industrialization; Competitiveness; Empowerment) approach.
The Ghana NRDS II has proposed the attainment of self-sufficiency in rice production by 2024 taking into consideration the comparative production capacities and growth of consumption in-country. The establishment of the committee is part of the ongoing efforts to meet that goal of making Ghana self-sufficient in rice production