The government of Ghana is going to ban permanently the inland rice import into the country, local sources quoted deputy Minister of trade as saying.
The rice traders or rice importers are using the inland borders to bring in the commodities and preserving their taxes, depriving the government of its resources. The trade minister said that they will announce the order officially next week.
The decision was taken based on a report which says that farmers are using the inland borders. The government has banned the inland border import in 2013 and has allowed the rice import only through Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and Tema and Takoradi ports to restrict rice smuggling and to ensure that the imported rice is levived with proper import duties and taxes.
Despite of requests from Small Scale Rice Dealer Association of Ghana(SCIRDA-GH), the ministry has taken this decision. Other than SCIRDA-GH, several other rice dealers have also urged the ministry to not take this decision as it effect their business and is in the court of major industry players.
It is particularly favoring the foreign traders to dominate over the local farmers and hence depressing their business. Small Scale farmers do not have much investment to afford overseas business.
In 2013, Ghana Rice import was worth of $306 millions and the Ghana government is planning to increase its rice production by 20% in coming four years to make Ghana self sufficient in rice.
According to USDA, in MY 2014-15 Ghana’s rice production is estimated at about 330,000 tons. The U.S agency have expected the Ghana to import 620,000 tons of rice during the year to meet consumption needs of around 975,000 tons