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Ghana expected to import 600,000 tons of rice

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RiceGhana is expected to import 600,000 metric tons of rice between October 2014 and September 2015 to augment the country’s rice needs.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as rice is now a major competitor of traditional staple foods, and the country produces only 30 percent of the rice it needs, it would have to import the 70 percent short fall.

The country’s production amounts only to 290,000 metric tons of rice.

The USDA notes that the sales of US rice to Ghana in mid-year 2011/2012 was an all-time high at $73.7 million but dropped to $59.4 million, a 19 percent decrease in midyear 2012/2013 and has continued to decrease in 2013/2014 to $16.9 million, a 71.5 percent decrease due to the high price of US rice.

“However, the increasing per capita consumption of rice in Ghana continues to create opportunity for US rice exports to Ghana,” it says.

Meanwhile, the Small Scale Rice Dealers Association of Ghana (SSRIDA-GH), at has asked the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure an outright ban of rice importation into the country.

It said inland rice importation is not only having a negative impact on the traders but also discriminatory and in favour of the major players in the industry.

They were reacting to a notice by the ministry on October 14, 2013 on the ban placed on inland importation of rice stating that with effect from November 1, 2013, all imports of rice shall be done through only the Kotoka International Airport, the Tema and Takoradi ports.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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