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Rice Importation Trade Ministry allays fears of local rice farmers

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has downplayed fears the resumption of rice importation will collapse local rice cultivation.

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Local rice farmers have kicked against the decision of the ministry to allow rice importation through three land borders of the country. play

Local rice farmers have kicked against the decision of the ministry to allow rice importation through three land borders of the country.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has downplayed fears the resumption of rice importation will collapse local rice cultivation.

Local rice farmers have kicked against the decision of the ministry to allow rice importation through three land borders of the country.

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.

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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 told Accra-based Citi FM.

The move to lift the made has also been heavily criticised by the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Mr Sampson Asaki.

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