The Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, has revealed that Wienco Ghana Limited and other companies are committed to buying all excess rice following cries for help from farmers.
He made this known during a meeting with local rice farmers at Avalavi Weta in the Volta Region on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
“Government has teamed up with most of the processers, especially Wienco. Wienco has assured us that they have been able to mobilise funds to buy all those excesses.”
“As we speak, there is a team coming [from Wienco] today with money to come and buy from everybody that has excesses. They are coming to buy and come and mill it.”
The Minister further vowed that “from today, you will not be wailing around looking for buyers to come and buy the paddy rice,” adding that there is a clear roadmap towards self-sufficiency in rice production.
Abdul Razak Sania, the commodities and procurement manager at Wienco, who was present at the meeting assured that the company was committed to ensuring agriculture ventures were sustainable.
“In terms of sustainability, we are looking at supporting the agric value chain from input distribution up to the point of final delivery of produce to consumers.”
“We want to say that we are playing a significant role to ensure that paddy produced by farmers are purchased so in the Volta Region, we are actively playing that role and we envision to expand to other areas in the country in the coming days.
As another avenue of support, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has also been meeting with 20 major rice importers to urge them to support rice production in the country.
Mr. Nyarko noted that the government has communicated plans to ban the importation of rice by 2022 to boost local rice production.
He said the government had told the importers to put their houses in order and “start patronising the local ones.
“When that time comes and we close the door, we don’t want you to come and say the government has collapsed our business.”
Citi FM's CEO Samuel Attah-Mensah has been one of the few people championing the consumption of local rice.
“We will ensure that we will continue to give whatever support that we need to give to all farmers and we will do it through our partners because government is working through the private sector to ensure that support reaches the farmers.”
Wienco Ghana Limited (Wienco) is an agricultural commodity trading company established since 1979. Initially trading in agricultural inputs, the company separated its input trading business to its sister-company RMG Ghana Limited (RMG), aligning with international best practices, and allowing for a more focused approach that results in providing enhance agricultural marketing solutions. On the commodity platform, Wienco currently trades in high quality rice, maize and cotton.