Ghana is to become self-sufficient in rice production by the year 2025. This may sound ridiculous but certainly not impossible.
The disclosure is couched in the Akufo-Addo government’s newly introduced initiative on rice production, strategically structured as an arm of its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, to boost the production of the crop in the country.
Ghana is said to be importing rice close to the tune of $1billion annually with an apparent negative effect on the national economy and therefore any attempt to reduce or halt the over-dependence on imported rice must, of course, be considered as a welcome piece of good news.
But no! The hard truth is that some efforts made in the past to resolve the rice importation puzzle virtually failed to produce the desired results rendering it a seemingly intractable enterprise.
It therefore stands to reason that any news on Ghana achieving self-sufficiency status in rice production, let alone stop rice importation appears a rather far cry or far-fetched and will naturally be taken with a pinch of salt. That’s understandable, you know.
The irony is that Ghana with its vast fertile lands, human and other resources, according to agricultural experts, has the potential of becoming a major rice producer capable of meeting local demand and even export. So what’s the problem?
The Akufo-Addo administration, in an audacious attempt to have a go at the problem, has announced a plan to ginger up rice production in 122 selected districts across the country taking effect from 2019 .