According to the local rice producers, it has been indicated that they have warned that they will lose out massively on benefits of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff to the rice industry if efforts are not aimed at resolving challenges confronting them. Rice importation to Ghana still attracts a twenty percent charge at the ports despite the implementation of the CET.
In this matter, the Head of tax policy unit of the Ministry of Finance, Anthony Dzadzraa tells Citi Business News, revealed that the move is to enable local rice producers to improve on quality so that they can be able to compete within five years’ time when government may be compelled to reduce the current charge to ten percent. However, in an interview with Citi Business News, a rice farmer and the Director of Network of Rice Farming Associations, NETRICE, Amishadai Owusu fears that they may have risk losing out if the local rice producers are not adequately resourced to aid fair competition.
Further, in this regard, it has been stated that the kind of equipments that we have to compete with China or Thailand or any other country and while in a whole district we have about three or four tractors only. It was narrated that we should have our own swamps to be developed. Our swamps are not developed as they are full of stumps, and it is rather impossible for mechanized agriculture. Further, we also require driers to be able to dry and de-stone the rice, because of our threshing methods, our rice is full of stones and particles as such we cannot compete with any of the countries in the developed world, and it has been observed.