Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa and Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Kobina Tahir Hammond, is encouraging all Ghanaians, irrespective of their ideological and political persuasions, to rally behind the government as it seeks to put in place strategies aimed at enhanced production for local consumption as a way of building a resilient economy. He said the move will help deliver on government policy on import reduction, with the overall goal of significantly reducing the import bill in order to improve balance of payments.
The Minister made these comments on his second day of assumption of duty, when he met with some investors led by Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, who are interested in venturing into local rice production.
Ghana’s annual import bill, on the average, exceeds US$ 10 billion. In 2021 alone, figures from the Ghana Revenue Authority shows that total imports amounted to US$13.7 billion, with the top 50 non-traditional exports constituting about 30% of the total import bill,
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong welcomed the support of government for the intended project, especially the availability of an incentive regime to help boost production. He disclosed that their studies have indicated that Ghana has a great potential for an all year-round rice production, through the application of a model that they have designed. He revealed that a survey of irrigable lands for the project has been undertaken already.
Ghana currently has a deficit of rice supply of about 360,000 metric tons yearly. When completed, the project will be able to account for about 40% of the 830,000 metric tons deficit. It will also create about 30,000 jobs.