The Ministry of Agriculture has revealed plans to stop importing rice into the country within the next four to five years.
Sector Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the government is already working hard to ensure that rice imports are reduced drastically.
This comes as a huge boost to local farmers, especially after the successes chalked in the production of maize this year.
Between January and September this year, Ghana recorded an increase in local maize production which ensured that no maize imports were made.
Meanwhile, Ghana would save close to a billion dollars, should the country put a stop to rice imports.
The Agric Ministry has indicated its readiness to support local rice farmers in order to increase their yield.
By this, the government hopes to shift demand to the local rice, with a target to totally stop importing rice within the next five years.
“We import about a billion dollars of rice into the country and we are determined that within the next four to five years, that should come to an end because we need that foreign exchange to develop our country by building the roads, hospitals, schools among others and not to use it to import things that our farmers are producing and giving jobs to foreign farmers,” Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto told Accra-based Citi FM.
“The two crops we are focusing on are rice and soya; soya because of the poultry industry and rice because of import substitution,” he added.