Farmers want local rice market
The President of the Asutuare Rice Farmers Association, Mr Gideon Martey, said with the introduction of modern equipment into the rice industry, rice farmers in the country were producing high quality rice that could be compared to those on the international market.
Mr Martey was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of an advocacy workshop by the Upper Manya “Dademantsemei” Union at Asesewa for the introduction of an irrigation system in the Upper Manya District to support an all year round agriculture.
He, however, expressed regret that due to low advertisement, Ghanaians were not buying locally produced rice and so traders who bought the last seasons rice from farmers at Asutuare for processing still had large stock of the rice not processed.
He said, currently, rice farmers in the country were producing perfumed and grade “A” types of rice at very reasonable prices lower than the imported rice.
“At the moment, 50 kilograms of locally produced perfumed rice is sold at GHȼ 100 while the 25 kilo pack is sold at GHȼ 50, far cheaper than the same quality of imported rice,” he said.
Mr Martey explained that due to low advertisement some imported rice business persons were going round spreading false rumour that locally produced rice are expensive.
He said those businessmen were using the price of the lowest imported quality rice that could only be used for “rice and beans or rice balls” to compare with the price of the high grade rice produced in the country to deceive the public.
Mr Martey said through the support of the Government the Asutuare rice farmers were using combined harvesters to harvest their rice.
He said there were rice processing facilities which could be compared to the best in the world for the milling, grading and removal of stone particles from the rice produced at the place.
Mr Martey appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for support to acquire more combined harvesters to speed up harvesting of rice during the harvest period.
He said the current eight combined harvesters were not enough for quick harvesting of the 2,600 hectares of rice fields at Asutuare.
“The association also needs tractors for fast transportation of the harvested rice from the fields to the processing centres and also power tillers and tractors that could be used to plough the rice fields”.