Prime News Ghana

Quality of local rice significantly improved - Yaw Opoku

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

An agro Processor and a farmer, Yaw Adu Opoku, says the quality of locally produced rice has been significantly been improved.

Yaw Adu Opoku stated that the perception people have that the locally produced rice has stones in it is a thing of the past.

According to him, they have equally brought in rice mills that are the ones used in producing rice in Vietnam, China and Thailand.

Responding to concerns about the quality of the local rice, Yaw Opoku touted the local rice as been better than most of the rice imported from foreign countries.

" I will tell you yes, we have also brought in the same rice mills that you find in Vietnam, Thailand and China. What we produce is actually better than what is imported The perception out there is that Ghana rice is not well produced and if you eat it there are stones in it but that was yesterday we don't have it anymore," he said this on Joy FM today.

Rice producers in Ghana continue to struggle to break even as the country’s rice import increases annually.

In some parts of the Northern and Upper East Regions, local farmers are losing their investments due to the lack of a ready market for their produce.

The cost of production for local farmers is often very high with less support from the government.

Reacting to the challenges facing the rice sector, the government said they are in talks with 20 major importers of rice into Ghana to get them to rely on locally produced rice for both domestic consumption and export.

Addressing the media, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the importation of rice will reduce drastically in about three years’ time as the government builds the capacity of local rice farmers.

“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 support. Therefore, it means that if you want to import rice into this country, it means that you are taking away bread from the mouths of 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.”