The John A. Kufuor Foundation has applauded the directive of the President for all state institutions to procure Ghana rice beginning next year.
It said the commendation comes at the time the advocacy to eat Ghana rice was not new, and yet as a country there was no courage to take the bold step in ensuring that we all begin to purchase the Ghana rice.
The Foundation in partnership with Value Chain Institutions such as the Ghana Rice lnter-Professional Body (GRIB), the Miller’s Association of Ghana and Hopeline Institute, have been working tirelessly in different capacities to promote the adoption of Ghana Rice to reduce the country’s dependence on imported rice.
At a News conference in Accra, Professor Baffour Agyemang Duah, Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Foundation said the president’s directive was appropriate, especially when local producers, together with government and importers were working out modalities for import substitution in the rice sector.
He said over the years, past Presidents issued lots of directives which somehow were not respected or implemented by those responsible.
He said after years of collaborating in diverse ways mainly through policy and advocacy for reforms in the rice sector, they found it important that the bold step would be undertaken by government.
He said the directive would go a long way to revitalise the local industry which declined, and help the country to become self-sufficient in riceProf, Ayemang Duah said the Foundation and its partners would work out strategies for improving service delivery by developing a monitoring mechanism to ensure that public institutions adhered to the directive of the President.
“We shall also, in collaboration with other partners, evolve effective and institutionalised monitoring and evaluation frameworks or strategies for monitoring and, or evaluating the compliance with the president’s directive.”
He also noted that the Foundation would engage further with other state institutions to develop measures that would encourage nationwide adoption of Ghana rice, and support the value chain actors to forge closer ties to address the challenges of the rice sector and to create the most conducive environment.
Prof. Agyemang Duah reiterated their commitment to create a viable local rice sector for Ghana to become self-sufficient, as they believed that the government’s target of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2023 was achievable.
Nana Adjei Aryee II, President, Ghana Rice Inter-Professional said the pronouncement of the president was welcoming news, which was long overdue and gave the assurance that it would be implemented.
“We want to encourage our farmers and the financial institution to come up with a plan to support the government’s initiative.”