- Discussions on benchmark policy reversal in limbo
- Discounts on imports to be reversed
- Benchmark policy makes imported rice cheaper by 25%-Rice farmers
The Ministry of Agriculture has intimated that it will employ the necessary measures to ensure that rice farmers are properly cushioned from the effects of rising rice imports.
This is due to threats that suggest that thousands of people in the rice value chain risk losing their jobs due to the benchmark value reduction policy.
Rice farmers have lamented that the benchmark policy reduces the cost of imported rice by 25% thereby affecting the competitiveness of the local industry.
This, they also say, is stifling Ghana’s industrialization agenda.
Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Bagbara Tanko speaking in a Citi Business News interview said “It will be very difficult for me at this time to say if interventions have been made for rice farmers with regard to the benchmark policy because I am not privy to any yet, but I’m sure the Ministry will not just sit aloof but will be taking the necessary actions to ensure that our farmers get the best and the entire rice value chain will also get the best”.
She further stated that initiatives such as the Special Rice Initiative and the Planting for Food and Jobs aimed at providing the right market for local rice farmers are steadily being pursued to help Ghana’s local rice industry to grow.
“It’s disheartening to hear that there is so much that has been produced, yet there is no market or it’s in the market but affordability rates are high. We have put in place some measures, we have what we call the Special Rice Initiative Programme, we also have the Planting for Food and Jobs, in fact, they involve the supply of improved varieties that can compete with world standards to farmers and also help develop the undeveloped values”.