There are progressive talks with Ghana Standards Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) regarding standards for rice on Ghana’s markets.
Discussions aim to set out guidelines for standards that will make foreign rice unattractive to Ghanaian consumers.
Accordingly, the Executive Director of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo says, the strategy will promote the selling of local rice in the Ghanaian market. It will additionally protect Ghanaian consumers from unhealthy foreign rice and boost local businesses
In an interview with an Accra based news Portal, he reiterates that “I have had a conversation with the lead campaigner of ‘Buy Made in Ghana Rice’. And what we have told them is that we (GSA and FDA) will ensure that Ghanaians set a standard that will make it unattractive for foreign rice to enter into the country. Now that there is a campaign and the ability to produce rice locally. The question we should ask is why do we want to import rice that has been kept for some 10 years? We have started those discussions and we are very keen to set out the requirements for rice so high that Ghana made rice will compete way above any other rice.”
To Protect Consumers and Boost Ghanaian Business
He further discourages the notion that promoting local rice will rather set barriers in the rice market. He is of the opinion that such a strategy will instead protect the Ghanaian public. The strategy involves setting high standards for rice on the markets. As a result products that fall below the requirements cannot enter the Ghanaian market
The initiative seems laudable. The ultimate benefit is to promote local rice, and additionally protect consumers from unhealthy products that infiltrate the Ghanaian market.
He further states in his discussion that “For me and for most people in the field, having rice which is so old that it’s been treated with chemicals for years is harmful to our health so why should we patronize it? We’re looking at these requirements and definitely it will change soon to project the Ghanaian consumer and Ghanaian businesses,” he concluded.
The Made in Ghana Rice Campaign
The campaign to “buy made in Ghana rice” seems unabated. Ghana needs more of such initiatives to drive economic development.
Similarly, the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) is to support the trading of local rice on its commodities’ trading platform.
The above moves are responses to the recent glut in local rice production in several parts of the Northern parts of Ghana. The situation left farmers to bemoan their fortunes in rice farming. It also raised concerns with may Ghanaians. Thus instigating the campaign to promote made in Ghana products
Accordingly, President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his speech at the just ended 35th National Farmers’ Day celebration appealed to Ghanaians to consume local rice. He said he does same with his family. He also stated that if Ghanaians consumed more local rice, it would boost production and lead to self-sufficiency.