By Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA
Fijai, Dec. 1, GNA - The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), has recommended a complete ban on the importation of rice into the country to secure the local rice industry.
According them there was enough local capacity to meet the rice demand of the country and asked all government institutions to patronise local rice.
While praising the government for the move to secure the local rice industry, they recommended low interest on loans for agricultural businesses to curtail the challenges confronting the sector.
Other recommendations included increased budget allocation and subsidies for combine harvesters, rice millers and rice packaging materials, new technology to address aflatoxins and other post-harvest challenge, storage facilities and increase budget on mitigating problems in the rice value chain.
Mr Abdul Rahman Mohammed, the Board Chairman of the PFAG during the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Association said the directive by the government to the National Buffer Stock Company to mop up the excess rice had come in handy.
"We hope the directive will be enforced immediately without any further delay to bring hope to our farmers", he added.
Meanwhile, a Research on "assessment of the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme: perspectives from beneficiary farmers revealed that farmers had received improved certified variety of seeds.
Professor Awetori Yaro from the University of Ghana, who presented the findings said the research was commissioned to analyze access to certified seeds, fertilizer, extension services marketing and post-harvest handling.
The research established that much progress had been made with the PFJ and that the project could stimulate the commercialization of small scale agriculture in Ghana.
The study however, recommended increased surveillance, adequate extension services and early delivery of seeds and fertilizers.
Other recommendations included a deliberate government policy on low interest rate for agricultural businesses.
Mr. Kobena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minster urged farmers to work effectively towards improving nutrition especially for women and children.