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Rice Importation Gov’t charged to ensure imported rice meet standard

The nightmare of the local producers is that the opened entry points could be used to smuggle in rice, which could further hurt local rice on the market.

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The chairman of the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) Harold Ntorenkansah has charged the government to ensure that the right standards of rice are brought on to the market.

His comments follow the lifting of the ban on rice import into the country by the Trade and Industry Ministry.

“It is very important we [Ghana] go back to the root and check the standards,” told Citi FM. “The problem that we have now is because anything at all comes onto the market as rice whether imported or locally produced."

The decision to lift the ban on rice importation has been condemned by local rice farmers as counterproductive.

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They fear it could render the local rice uncompetitive on the market since most Ghanaians prefer foreign rice to local ones.

The nightmare of the local producers is that the opened entry points could be used to smuggle in rice, which could further hurt local rice on the market.

However, the head of tax advisory unit at the Trade and Industry Ministry, Lawrence Osei Boateng, says the ministry is teaming up with the security services to check the menace of smuggling.

He adds that small-scale rice importance has assured the ministry that they will do clean business.

"Mind you, it is only three land borders that we have opened. These land borders we are sure that we have the cooperation of the security services, especially the National Security, Customs in this regard and we, are re-resourcing them to be able to check the menace of smuggling, the menace of under invoicing and we have also met with the small scale importers of rice and we have the surety that they will do genuine business," Mr Boateng said.

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