Kwetey who is worried about the development says the situation frustrates attempts to get Ghanaians to patronize locally grown rice.
“... The quality is great and because some people are discriminating, some of them come in the pretense of being foreign rice and people consume it and they don’t even know,” he said. He believes this trend can be cured if Ghanaians believe in local farmers and patronize their produce.
“We therefore need to consume it with confident so that people don’t disguise it anymore”.
The Agric ministry has begun moves to woe Ghanaians to patronize locally grown rice as it pushes for a paradigm shift in the desire for rice on the local market.
About 70 percent of rice consumed locally is imported from Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of the world. This has had a negative impact on the local currency, the Cedi, as large volumes of dollars are required by rice importers. Mr. Kwetey told the media at the launch of the Second Ghana National Rice Festival that “rice produced locally was more nutritious, healthy and tastier than the imported one.”
The Second Ghana National Rice Festival, will be held from November 13 to 15, 2015, at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra. The festival, is being organized by the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB).
It is aimed at making the Ghana rice industry competitive. Stakeholders in the rice industry, including farmers, millers and marketers, are expected to showcase different varieties and brands of Ghana rice at the festival, in the hope of whipping up the interest of the public in local rice.