Bawumia Approves Jospong Group, Komptech Rice Project Agreement

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Bawumia Endorses Jospong Group Komptech
Bawumia Endorses Jospong Group Komptech

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has endorsed the union between Jospong Group and Komptech from Austria, as the two sign a €30 million agreement to support rice, maize and soya production in Ghana.

He was speaking at a B2B session with an Austrian delegation led by the Federal Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, in Accra under the auspices of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.

 

The deal, which was signed by the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Dr. Joseph Siaw-Adjepong and Markus Maierhofer on behalf of Komptech, will see Komptech providing machinery and technological support to the Jospong Group rice project.

Komptech is one of the leading international technology providers for machinery and systems for the mechanical and biological processing of solid waste.

The Jospong Group rice project which is being championed by the Asian African Consortium (AAC) is an integrated rice project designed to make Ghana self-sufficient in rice production, with its attendant significant economic benefit for the country.

Dr. Bawumia is confident that the deal between Jospong and Komtech will help Ghana to be less dependent on others for rice, particularly in the face of the global food security challenges due the Russian-Ukrainian war.

He used the occasion to implore investors from Austria to take advantage of Ghana’s economic and political stability to invest in the country.

Dr. Bawumia noted that Ghana has a stable political environment, strong democratic culture, safe and happy people underpinned by freedom of expression, adding that in a volatile West Africa, Ghana is ranked as the most peaceful country and the second most peaceful country in Africa.

According to him, Ghana also has educated, competitive and trainable labour force which should motivate the Austrian investors to consider investing in the country.

The Vice President reiterated Ghana’s commitment to strategic partnership with the private sector and enhanced efforts for industrialization and productive transformation to achieve sustainable economic growth.

He said Ghana is open for business and is eager to forge mutual beneficial rewarding relationships with Austria.

“As Ghana and Austria seem to forge stronger bonds, we have to sustain such relationship through improved technical and science-based education, technology and also address unfair trade relations among others,” he stressed.

 

He noted that the Austrian Federal Chancellor’s participation at the business forum also demonstrates the commitment of the Austrian government to enhance collaboration between private and public sectors of the two countries for mutual benefits.

Dr. Bawumia observed the timing for the meeting was auspicious as the devastated effects of COVID 19, climate change and ongoing energy and food crisis has dessmonstrated the need for increased global collaboration.

“These global developments have amplified protection and distortions of supply chains with ramifications for economies in the continent including Ghana,” he stated.

Dr. Bawumia however noted that Ghana has initiated steps to bounce back stronger.

”Ghana had its fair share of these burdens and is making concrete efforts to bounce back stronger,” he stressed.

As we pull together to revive the global economy, and secure our future against economic, environmental, health security treats the contribution of Africa to these efforts cannot be understated.

 

Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, in a brief remarked invited other stakeholders to join the Jospong-Komptech initiative to improve Ghana’s food security by producing locally the food that it imports.

He said the project team has invited the business mogul, Ibrahim Mahama, and other like-minded businessmen to be part and support the consortium.

Karl Nehammer, the first leader of Austria to visit Ghana, in his remarked, noted that Ghana has been a reliable partner to Austria and Austria will continue to deepen its engagement with Ghana, adding that trade between the two countries has increased in the past few years.

We therefore see great potential for more development and our aim is to create a partnership of equals for mutual benefits,” he emphasized.

Backgroud

Last year, Asian African Consortium entered partnership with major rice industry players in Thailand to develop an integrated rice farming project. This move by Jospong Group stemmed from the government’s decision to boost the economy through import substitution.

A core team later visited Thailand for the Ghana-Thailand Business conference in March 2023 with researchers from various universities in Ghana as well as major players in the rice industry.

Last year, Ghana spent over GH¢6.8billion (equivalent to US$560million at current market rates) importing rice, a grain that can be produced locally.

While total rice consumption stood at 1.4 million metric tonnes in 2022, imports valued at US$560 million accounted for 800,000 metric tonnes (mt) of the consumption figure, with domestic production catering for the remaining demand – according to data from IDH Sustainable Trade, a foundation headquartered in The Netherlands.

Similarly, according to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, between 2010 and 2020 the country’s rice imports hit a staggering US$8billion. This, in addition to imports of other food items that can be produced locally, has been a major source of concern for stakeholders.

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