Ghana Cannot Ban Rice Importation –Minister

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By Cecil Mensah

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu ,has disclosed that the Government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) cannot ban the importation of rice, when local farmers are not able to satisfy the rising demand for rice in the country.

According to him, Ghana spends approximately three hundred fifty million Dollars annually on the importation of rice and three hundred twenty million Ghana Cedis on the importation of chicken and poultry products.

He said, to be able to achieve rice and poultry sub sufficiency, the Government under the leadership of President John Mahama, has rolled out a special support for two major companies in the poultry industry which was contained in the 2014 State of the Nation Address titled “Transformation of the Economy to reduce Imports and promote Exports “in the country.

The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South Constituency in the Northern Region, made this disclosure at a meeting with the members of the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association and the Deputy Minister for Agriculture in Charge of Livestock and MP for Tano South Constituency in the Brong Ahafo region, Madam Hannah Bissiw to offer a stimulus package to the poultry and rice industry in
Accra.

He said, Government has taken the decision to support companies in the production of poultry based on petitions for the support for the industry.

He said it is in view of this that the government set up the special support for two major companies in the poultry industry for large skill production of poultry.

He added that government has set aside one hundred million Ghana Cedis as part of the Export and Agriculturial Development Fund to transform the industry and reduce the import of poultry and rice.

On his part, Mr Kojo Asante chairman for Ghana Association of Poultry Farmers expressed the association’s gratitude to the Government for the initiatives it is taking to salvage the dying poultry industry.

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