Ghana government urged to lift ban on rice importsStaff writer ▼ | January 24, 2014
The Ghana government banned rice imports from Cote d'Ivoire since the beginning of this year. However, GISA says that the ban would lead to unemployment in the region as many rice importers and workers would lose their jobs. GISA also claims that the ban would lead to lower rice supplies and is the main reason behind the increase of around 20% -25% in rice prices since the implementation of the ban.
According to a GISA representative, imported rice from Cote d'Ivoire is affordable and banning rice imports from Cote d'Ivoire would lead to starvation as government supplies may not reach the poor on time, reports oryza.com.
The government had imposed a ban on imports through borders to stop smuggling of rice. Earlier this month, local reports said that the government had relaxed the ban for some months, but officials said that the ban is still in place.
Rice consumption is increasing in Ghana, and imported rice is becoming popular partly due to high prices of local rice and low supplies. According to the USDA, Ghana produces about 300,000 tons of rice annually, against a consumption of around 925,000 tons. Ghana’s rice imports in 2013-14 are estimated at around 575,000 tons. ■