Reports suggest that adverts regarding imported rice on Citifm, an Accra based radio station has been withdrawn following the increasing discussion to consume local rice.
The importers have subsequently revoked agreements with OmniMedia, operators of CitiFM and Citi TV. The allegation is that the campaign to increase local rice consumption is collapsing their businesses
Campaign to consume local rice has began
Recently, there has been earnest discussions in the media landscape for Ghana to take a U-turn in rice consumption. There has been incessant beckoning for Ghanaians to begin to consume local rice and reduce consumption of imported rice.
Discussions arise form the bumper rice harvest in the Northern parts of Ghana as a result of use of better methods of farming. Also because rice farmers in the North were introduced into the Planting for food and jobs program.
However, there is no market and no storage facilities for the huge rice harvest. This is because most Ghanaians prefer to consume foreign rice. Hence the low market for the local substitute.
Consequently the campaign to eat our local rice has began. The underlying motive is to support local farmers and to reward the efforts of their hard work. Also an increase in local rice importationwill reduce Ghana’a huge import bill with regards to rice. This will eventually ease the perpetual pressure on the USD, and maintain an appreciable value of the Cedi.
It seems a direct attack on rice importation businesses, but Ghana ought to change its stance and begin to eat what it grows locally. The fortunes of our local rice producers have been short changed for decades, now they reap to reap the fruit of their labour. Other countries have successfully embarked on similar campaigns. Even, one of the intents of Nigeria, our West African neighbour in shutting its borders recently, is to reduce influx of imports.
Similarly one successful factor that accelerated economic growth of Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and even China is maintaining a closed economy for decades.
Ghana’s borders are still opened to a lot of imports. However, as a sovereign state it is time for Ghana to begin to feed itself with the rice produced locally.