Players in the rice sector have announced plans to establish a mechanism to monitor President Akufo-Addo’s recent directive to state institutions to purchase only local rice.

The President at an encounter with the media last week directed all government institutions to cease patronage of imported rice from next year and rather purchase local rice.

“I am giving directions that from January 1, next year all the state institutions are going to have to buy made of Ghanaian produce and Ghanaian rice,” the president announced.

Ghana spends an estimated $600 million importing rice annually. Pictures of unsold rice produced by farmers in the north went viral on social media recently, speaking a national “Eat Ghana Rice” campaign which the foundation and its partners have been spearheading.

At a media briefing Wednesday, officials of the John A. Kufuor Foundation, the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), the Miller’s Association of Ghana and Hopeline Institute, which have been working to promote the adoption of Ghana Rice commended the effort.

“This will go a long way to revitalise the local industry which has been blighted by decline,” Prof. Baffour Agyeman – Duah who is Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation told the media.

 “The president’s directive comes at a very opportune time when local producers, together with government and importers are working out modalities for import substitution in the rice sector,” he said.

“After years of collaborating in diverse ways, mainly through policy and advocacy for reforms in the rice sector, we find it immensely important that this bold step will be undertaken by government,” he added.

The rice sector players announced they are committed to helping create a viable local rice sector where Ghana will become self-sufficient.

“We believe that the government’s target of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2023 is achievable and we will work to support this goal,” the John A. Kufuor Foundation CEO said.

He announced the foundation and its partners shall, as a matter of urgency, work out strategies for improving service delivery by developing a monitoring mechanism to ensure that public institutions adhere to the directive of the president.

“We shall also, in collaboration with other partners, evolve effective and institutionalized monitoring and evaluation frameworks/strategies for monitoring and/or evaluating the compliance with the president’s directive,” Prof. Agyeman Duah said.

He said they will engage further with other state institutions to develop measures that will encourage nationwide adoption of Ghana rice. 

The foundation will support the value chain actors to forge closer ties to address the challenges of the rice sector and to create the most conducive environment.