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Kofi Bentil Descends On Government Over Rice Importation   
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Kofi Bentil, Vice President IMANI Ghana
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Vice President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil, has criticized government over the huge post-harvest losses incurred by rice farmers in the country.

Kofi Bentil’s outburst comes in the wake of complains by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) that the influx of foreign rice in the country has adversely affected the sale of their produce.

According to the group, the perennial post-harvest issues have served as a disincentive for the growing of rice in the country.

Obviously appalled by the situation, Mr Bentil took to social media to vent his spleen on government, insisting that the continuous importation of rice has largely contributed to the situation.

His post on Facebook read, “Ghana. The amazing nation where we can arrange to import rice from Vietnam but can’t bring it from the North. Where brilliant youth are unemployed, but we need brilliant youth in public.”

Despite the recent support for local rice, farmers are asking the government to get them a ready market for their produce.

Meanwhile, government has announced its intention to solicit with rice importers to invest in local manufacturers for both domestic consumption and export.

At a press briefing, the Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said rice importation will reduce drastically in about three years’ time as the government builds the capacity of local rice farmers.

He added, “At the moment, we are in communication with the 20 biggest importers of rice in this country. We have had three meetings with them and we are telling them that, time is going to come soon when they cannot do business and give rice farmers in Thailand, Vietnam and America an opportunity to overcome our own. Our farmers were asleep because of the lack of government’s support.

“Therefore, it means that if you want to import rice into this country, it means that you are taking away bread from the mouth Ghanaian farmers and giving it to those in Thailand. What we are now saying is that, in two- or three-years’ time, we will work out on an agreement for them to buy from local millers.”


Source: ghanaweb.com

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