My Gov’t will soon ban rice importation – Akufo-Addo

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Workers unload bags of rice on January 19, 2011 at the Port of Abidjan where 80% of Ivory Coast's exports transit. EU-registered ships have been barred from dealing with Ivory Coast's main cocoa ports in line with sanctions over the nation's controversial November presidential poll. The European Union last weekend slapped sanctions on outcast incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo and 84 of his associates, as well as 11 economic entities in the world's top cocoa producer. AFP PHOTO/ ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

President Akufo-Addo has revealed his government will soon ban the importation of rice into the country.

According to him, a directive has been made to all government institutions to cease patronage of imported rice from next year.

The President ordered the institutions to use locally produced foods for all activities and projects undertaken by the institutions.

At the press encounter with the media on Wednesday, Mr Akufo-Addo said: “I am giving directions that from the January 1, next year all the state institutions are going to have to buy made of Ghanaian produce and Ghanaian rice”.

Leading by example, Mr Akufo-Addo said his household consumes local rice and every Ghanaian should follow suit.

“We should all eat Ghanaian rice…Each one of us in our homes should make a conscious effort to tell our wives and cousins and whoever it is who is responsible to buy Ghana rice, and very soon we will consider banning the importation of rice into the country,” he said to applause from the audience.

There has been a wave of a campaign across the country to promote patronage of local rice to boost the local industry and curtail the over $1 billion worth of rice imported annually.

Currently, local production stands at 460,000 metric tonnes with 640,000 metric tonnes imported yearly.

The National Food Buffer Stock has also been instructed to intensify the issuance of license and purchasing of both paddy and milled rice from local producers to boost the sector and encourage more production to meet demand.

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