The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), Hanan Abdul-Wahab, has declared that starting from next academic year, all Senior High Schools under the Free Senior High School (SHS) Programme will be fed with Ghana rice.
This decision is a scaling up of the policy in the Ashanti Region, the five regions of the North, where 100% of schools are fed with Ghana rice.
This decision he said, “is mandatory and suppliers and who flout this may suffer sanctions including non-payment of for services provided and revocation of licenses.”
To this end, all the NAFCO licensed suppliers have been directed to patronise the rice stocks of local rice millers and marketers.
This decision follows recent media reportage of complaints by rice farmers in the Fumbisi valley in the Upper East Region about the lack of patronage for their ware following the decision by Avnash Industries Ghana Limited not to buy the harvested rice for the 2018/2019 crop seen because they had unsold ware from the previous season in stock.
AS part of measure to improve the patronage of local rice, Mr. Hanan revealed that rice millers and marketers have indicated their readiness to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the ministry to buy from the farmers.
Also, commercial banks want government to come up with a stimulus package to encourage the consumption of local rice just like One District, One Factory (1D1F).
He reckoned that millers around the country would need “about GH₵30 million to mop up all the paddy rice in the field.”
Furthermore, a minimum guaranteed price has also been fixed at GH₵1.30, up from GH₵1.11. This would mean that 180kg of paddy currently being sold at GH₵200 will now go for GH₵234. This increment, he said was based on a crop budget analysis.
He also stated that two new licences have been given to Avnash Industries Limited for the purchase of and supply of Ghana rice to schools under the Free SHS programme and also to NAFCO warehouses under the ECOWAS Stocks Mutualisation Programme.
Avnash has also began mopping up paddy rice on the field, starting from Sunday, December 15.
Source: Selorm GBORBIDZI, Accrathefinderonline.com