The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has appealed to the Korean Government to support Ghana with her expertise in rice production in order to help the Ghana reduce the huge amount of dollars spent on importing rice into the country.
Ghana’s Agric Minister was of the view that with their knowledge and expertise in modern system of rice production, the Government of Korea should invest heavily in the cultivation of the staple food in order to boost local production.
Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto made the appeal when an 8-member delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Lyeo Woon-Ki, paid a courtesy call on him at his office on Wednesday.
The visit was mainly to welcome the new Minister and to hold bilateral talks on how the two countries can foster economic relationships, particularly in the agricultural sector.
It also afforded the Korean Ambassador the opportunity to brief the Minister on the various policies and programmes which have been proposed by his country to support the growth of agriculture in Ghana.
Hon. Dr. Afriyie Akoto noted that Ghana is ready to partner Korea in the use of high technology for rice production, stressing that it is the only to help cut import whilst enhancing local production.
His Excellency, Lyeo Woon-Ki, on his part said his country was always ready to partner Ghana in her quest to improve and modernize the agric sector.
The Ambassador said the main target was to increase the production of rice in Ghana by 50% through an initiative set to be rolled out subject to the approval of Ghana Government.
According to him, the project would include amongst other things, the organization of training programmes for some selected Ghanaians in Korea and the construction of rice processing complex.
He noted that Ghana has strong potentials for rice production, adding that the Korean Government, together with some private investors, had already acquired about 20 hectares of land at Okyerenko in the Central Region with about 15 hectares already developed for the production of rice.
His Excellency Lyeo Woon-Ki further noted that his outfit was liaising with the MOFA Directorate in the Central Region for the implementation of the program.
He further appealed to the Minister on behalf of Government to furnish his office with other proposals for consideration, recommending that such proposals could be channelled through the Finance Minister which must then be forwarded to the Korean Embassy.