Banning of rice importation in Ghana by 2022 not feasible


The president of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana Sampson Asaki Awingobit has warned government against plans of banning the importation of rice.

He said this could cause more harm than good in the short to medium term.

According to him, the solution to boost production and consumption of local rice lies in holistic support to local farmers in terms of cultivation and marketing of the produce.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Awingobit expressed fears that the country risk facing severe food insecurity if government overlooks the needed logistical.

He admonished government to critically examine the entire rice value chain before it goes ahead with its intended import ban.

“It is not feasible in the sense that, we don’t want a situation where government will create food insecurity in this country. With what they are bringing, if there is no demand, there will be no supply. If we say that in 2022, we will ban entirely, can we sustain what we are currently producing let alone looking for surplus for export? So we should not just rush and say, we are banning. The fears I am having is that, the government just can’t be making pronouncements. Government should be interested in the produce on the farm lands from cultivation to harvesting to packaging to marketing. Government should look at the supply chain and support the farmer adequately. At the end of the day, if they ban and the importers go to buy it, it will even cost more than the one that is brought from outside.”

The government has announced that, it plans to ban the importation of rice by 2022 to boost local rice production.

Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko who serve this notice said, the move is to reverse the significant amount of the foreign rice consumed by Ghanaians.

But Mr. Awingobit maintained that, although the ban on the importation may be helpful to the country in the near future, measures should adequately be put in place to ground its implementation in the long run.

“Government cannot use a short or medium term to solve this issue in the country looking at the amount of money that we are spending to bring rice in this country. The country can be looking at a long term solution. But from now, giving ourselves 2022 is not a solution if government bans the importation.”

By Emmanuel Amewugah, Daily Mail GH

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