The Small Scale Rice Dealers Association (SSRIDA) is calling on the Minister of Trade to rescue members from the hardship imposed on them through the ban on inland importation of rice since last year.

A statement issued by Yaw Korang, National Co-ordinator of SSRIDA in Accra on Friday and copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra said the ban had caused the livelihood of about 5,000 of its members nationwide.

It said the ban which had given monopoly to foreign importers of the commodity, was not effected through proper consultation with its members and was calculated to collapse local businesses.

The statement said: “Our business is only a threat to the monopoly being practiced by foreign rice importers whose activities are a threat to the nation’s economy because they do their importation under the cover of warehousing and sell their product for high prices in dollar equivalence before paying their revenue and sometimes even run-off without paying.”

“We do our business in the CFA- FRANC and pay our duty cash into the consolidated fund at the borders before we are allowed to bring our goods into the country and sell our products for less profit to enable us pay back loans.

“We humbly call on your high office to review the ban as it is affecting the traders and the general living conditions of the masses and image of the government.