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$1bn Spent On Rice Importation In Ghana

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From 2017 to 2020, Ghana spent an estimated total of GHC6.874 billion on rice imports.

Furthermore, from 2017 to 2020, Ghana imported the following food products: Fish – GHc3.993 billion, Chicken (processed) GHc1.881 billion, Meat – GHc487 million, Vegetables GHc281 million, and Poultry GHc184 million.

Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, made the revelation when he stood before Parliament to answer a question from Murtala Muhammed Ibrahim, Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, on how much the state spent on rice and other foodstuffs importation in the last four years.

Mr Kyerematen also acknowledges that the country spent close to $1 billion on food imports, based on the numbers presented.

In response to a question about whether the government has lifted a ban on small rice importers, Mr Kyerematen stated that rice was a staple food in the country, and that a delicate balance had to be maintained between the quantity of rice produced locally at any given time, and that the most important thing was to avoid serious shortages.

He stated that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as well as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, continue to monitor rice output, and that when local rice volumes increase sufficiently, the government would be able to ban rice imports.

Mr Kyerematen also stated that the government has not repealed any bans imposed on small rice importers, but that the Ministry has a management mechanism in place to ensure that there are no shortages.

He stated that once the country has a large amount of domestic rice production, the Ministry will be able to assess what action to take about the prohibition.

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