The government of Ghana has reiterated its commitment to partnering with the private sector in the country’s economic transformation.
When he spoke in Accra to a group of officials from the Ghana-Thailand Rice Project, the Jospong Group of Companies, and a Thai delegation, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, made this clear.
The meeting focused on government-private sector collaboration on economic recovery and transformation agenda by increasing production and productivity in the rice sub-area, as cherished in the Ghana CARES program.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said that the ‘Ghana Cares Obaatan-Pa’ program was putting strategic measures in place to help rice farmers and other players in the value chain increase production. The collaboration was in direct response to a need that was felt because the government was working hard to promote the private sector.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister of Ghana said:
“We expect that this collaboration will advance production and productivity based on intensive research and learning. It should promote value-addition and market linkage in a self-sustaining model. We shall be a net exporter in three years.” he said.
The Finance Minister disclosed, citing available records on Ghana’s rice subsector, that the sector under rice cultivation had increased from 189,000 hectares in 2012 to 357,000 hectares by 2021, that paddy rice production had increased from 463,000 MT in 2011 to 1,143,000 MT by 2021, and that productivity had marginally increased from 2.35 MT/Ha to 3.20 MT/Ha. Additionally, the percentage of milled rice had marginally increased from 60% to 63%.
He assured of the government’s deliberate programs to promote domestication in order to address potential food challenges in 2023. These programs will involve interconnected institutions.
The Minister thanked Jospong Group of Companies for their “Business-to-Business” collaboration and urged other private companies to contribute creative ideas to help the government grow the country.
Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, also gave the assurance that, the government would provide strategic support to the private sector in the production of rice motivated him to make a strategic trip to Thailand to learn about the best practices there in the field.
He went on to say that this was done while building partnerships for financial investments in the country’s rice industry. He also said that the project was for Ghana and not the Jospong group.
He stated that because the project was larger than the brand, all rice value chain stakeholders would be consulted and included in the process.