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Government releases GH ¢15 million for local rice purchase

2010-05-31 22:25:04
This article has been read 868 times.

The Government has released GH¢ 15 million to the National Food Buffer Stock Company to buy paddy rice from farmers in the three Northern regions.

This is in line with government’s quest to promote local rice consumption. It also aims at boosting food security and to curtail the perennial importation of rice into the country.

Mr. Eric Osei Owusu, Chief Executive Officer of the National Food Buffer Stock Company made this known in an interview with Citi News during a facility visit.

He said the company out of its expectation to buy 200,000 bags of paddy rice has so far bought about 15,000 bags from rice growers in the Northern region which is ready for milling.

Mr. Eric Osei Owusu explained that the project targeted at supplying government institutions like schools, hospitals and security agencies with locally manufactured rice to promote local rice consumption in the country.

According to him, the company engaged the services of local agents who buy the rice from farmers in the hinterlands at GH ¢27 cedis and in turn sell to NAFCO at GH ¢35 cedis.

He disclosed that apart from the rice, the company is also purchasing beans and maize.

Abdulai Iddrisu Adama, Northern Regional Agric Engineer at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said the project was born out of a policy document called the Value Chain Approach Policy.

He told Citi News that MOFA introduced the policy to complement the block farming project which was introduced by government in 2010.

He hinted that about 4,000 hectares of farmlands were cultivated in 2010 in the northern region, and the beneficiary farmers together with other farming groups, were supported with farm machinery and inputs at subsidized prices.

Among other interventions, he said MOFA in collaboration with NAFCO was rehabilitating the Tamale Nasia Rice Company’s milling plant to mill the paddy rice for consumption.

Alhaji Dolan Yakubu Ayana, a Principal Agent who has been contracted by NAFCO to purchase the rice commended government for its timely intervention.

He said the move was a sigh of relief to farmers who have lately complained that there was no ready market for locally made rice.


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