An agro-processor, Yaw Adu Poku, says the “seeming” glut in rice produced locally is mainly because financial institutions have shut their doors to the sector.

“So we are finding it difficult to go to the farmer and pick from the farm gate,” he said.

Speaking Saturday on Newsfile on JoyNews TV and Joy FM, Mr. Adu Poku explained that, the rice glut which is not being felt on the Ghanaian market is due to the inability of the agro-processors to raise funds to buy the rice from the farmers.

According to him, all attempts to get financial institutions to facilitate their activities have proven futile.

“I have been in Accra for the last couple of weeks…walking from bank to bank and the result is zero. So this is why you see the hue and cry,” he told the host of the programme, Samson Lardy Anyenini.

Though some farmers are willing to give their harvested rice to the agro-processors on credit to save the paddy from the dry Harmattan season, Mr. Adu Poku says agro-processors are unable to take advantage of the situation because the logistics are not on credit.

“In fact, as I sit here, a lot of farmers have been calling me to come and take their paddy…this is because the Harmattan is just about to begin and rice is a sensitive crop, unlike other cereals. When the Harmattan comes in, the price goes down because the moisture level in the paddy dries up completely,” he explained.

He added that “The farmer does not want the paddy to be sitting on his hands and we are finding it difficult to raise funds to go and buy from the farmer, so they are even willing to give us credit, but the logistics will not take credit.”

As a result, “most of the milling establishments are not working.”

He, therefore, suggested an approach to finance agro-processors and aggregators in order to take the stress off the farmers.

This week, the National Food Buffer Stock Limited said that it aims to remove the 60,000 maxi bags of excess rice grains left in the open at the Fumbisi Rice Valley in the Busila South District of the Upper East region.

Chief executive Officer of the Stock, Hanan Abdul-Wahab, said by the end of the month the rice bags will be put on the market for sale.

He attributed this years’ excess yield to improved seeds that were given to farmers rather than the traditional seeds.

He highlighted though “that a greater yield was expected and that’s why the One District One Factory (1D1F) policy was introduced to curb the anticipated challenge.”

However, there is still a significant lack of storage warehouses in the country and rice farmers are worried that their harvest will go to waste.