The farmers pleaded that the government should implement its plan to ban imported rice immediately instead of waiting till 2022.

According to the National President and Board Chairman of the Association, Abdul- Rahman Mohammed, as reported by New Telegraph, placing an immediate ban on imported rice will show that the government is committed. He said it would not only help to reduce Ghana’s import bill but also create employment opportunities in Ghana and stabilise the cedi.

Mohammed also urged the Ghanaian government to give the farmers a chance to prove their ability in producing enough rice to meet domestic consumption. Going by the numbers, he said only 34% of Ghanaians consumed Ghana rice while 680,000 tonnes of rice costing $500 million is imported annually.

Recall that the Nigerian government had partially closed the land borders with neighbouring countries in August to address smuggling of rice and other products in the border areas.

Last month, Buhari approved the extension of the border closure till January 31, 2020. The development has also been supported by Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), whose effort in local rice production has recently witnessed a boost.

Nairametrics had previously reported when the Ghanaian Minister of Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto disclosed plans to boost local production in the West African country. The flagship programme known as Planting for Food and Jobs was said to be for the purpose of boosting local capacity to meet high demand as well as simulate trade between merchants and local farmers.

Afriyie-Akoto said the Planting for Foods and Jobs initiative could be operational in three years and would be enough to combat rice and poultry importation during that same period.