The Chief Executive Officer of the Asian African Consortium (AAC), Mrs. Adelaide Araba Agyepong, has called for a collective effort to make President Akufo Addo's goal of increasing rice production in Ghana a reality.
Speaking at the Thailand-Ghana Business Conference in Bangkok, Mrs. Agyepong emphasized that achieving the vision of ending rice imports in Ghana requires the participation of all stakeholders, not just the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC).
Mrs. Agyepong revealed that the AAC has received significant support from stakeholders in both Ghana and Thailand since the project's inception in 2022.
To this end, she stressed the importance of forming strategic partnerships to ensure the project's success.
She also announced that a fully furnished National Rice Office has been set up in Accra, and three zonal offices will be established in Koforidua, Kumasi, and Tamale for the southern, middle, and northern belts of Ghana, respectively.
Ghana's Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (in charge of Crops), Mr. Yaw Addo Frimpong, encouraged Thai investors in the rice value chain to invest in Ghana.
Mr. Frimpong explained that Thailand, as a leader in rice production, could support Ghana in its efforts to become self-sufficient in rice production and also produce in excess for export to countries within the West African sub-region.
He also revealed that Ghana's consumption demand for rice is between 1.2 million and 1.4 million metric tonnes per annum, with a significant gap between this figure and the 600,000 metric tonnes currently produced by the government and small-scale rice farmers.
The Ghana-Thailand Business Conference, which focused on rice, fertilizer, maize, cassava, and poultry, was attended by experts and researchers from various fields, traditional rulers, metropolitan, municipal, and district chief executives (MMDCEs), private entrepreneurs, and executives of the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC).
The conference was part of the rice project initiated through the instrumentality of the Executive Chairman of the JGC, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, to help Ghana become self-sufficient in rice production.