It said the low patronage of local rice is a great disservice to small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) who have invested their resources into its production.
Speaking at the third annual Ghana National Rice Festival held in Accra, Mr Imoro Amoro, the President of GRIB, said there has been improvements in the production and packaging of local rice and this is geared at meeting the demands and tastes of consumers.
The two-day event dubbed, ‘To promote made in Ghana rice’ was held under the theme: “Eat Quality Ghana Rice for A Healthy Life”.
Mr Amoro said with the improved state in the industry it is incumbent upon government to make more investments in the local rice industry and to make it the preferred choice for consumers.
“Today rice is eaten 7 days a week, [yet] the country imports tons of rice every year”, he said.
Mr Amoro called on government to support the initiatives of GRIB as it seeks to establish mechanization centers at all rice growing areas of the nation.
He appealed for the imposition of special levies on rice imports saying it would boost local production as the nation currently spends over 500million dollars annually on rice imports.
Mr Amoro said the nation’s first Ghana Rice Business center was commissioned in August at Asutsuare and it has made remarkable contributions to the production of local rice to feed consumers.
He called on government to make concessional funding accessible to the rice industry as it would help us increase rice production.
As part of its effort to increase the patronage of local rice, Mr Imoro Amoro said GRIB is launching a quality Ghana Rice Certification logo which bears the accreditations of Ghana Standard Authority, Food and Drugs Authority and Brand Ghana office of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The event, which brought together many stakeholders and civil bodies, was sponsored by USAID-ADVANCE, John Agyekum Kuffuor Foundation, GIZ, Tara, Christian Aid, Wienco and Nestle Ghana Limited.