COVID-19: We have excess food for export-Agric Minister

The Minister for Agriculture Owusu Afriyie-Akoto says the country has chalked significant gains despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Minister told journalists on Thursday that Ghana has enough food in store despite the outbreak.

He commended Ghanaian farmers for their hard work saying, farmers in the country continue to produce enough, with the support of the government.

He disclosed the government is currently working with the Brazilian government to import gari processing plants, rice and maize mills to help farmers process and package the excess we have for export.

He further disclosed the government will also import processing plants from Indian and China to help us process and package our excess.

He said the country was producing in excess of its consumption capacity despite the coronavirus outbreak.

He reiterated the pledge by the government to reduce drastically the importation of rice into the country in the next three years.

Dr. Afriyie-Akoto said enough investment has gone into the production of rice and in the next three years, Ghana will no longer import rice but export.

The Planting for Food and Jobs he touted has positioned Ghana in a better position to fight and minimize the impact of coronavirus.

Ghana he said was expecting a growth rate of 6.1% in 2020but because of the impact of COVID-19, that growth has been reduced to 4%.

As part of efforts to minimize the impact, the government’s target of 1.2 million small holding farmers has been increased to 1.4 million farmers.

This means that the government will provide more farmers with fertilisers and improved seeds particularly those for import substitution (rice imports).

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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