Accra, 30th December, 2022 - The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has reiterated Government’s commitment to partner the private sector in the economic transformation of the country.
He made this known when he addressed a gathering of officials of the Ghana-Thailand Rice Project, the Jospong Group of Companies and a delegation from Thailand in Accra.
The meeting focused on government-private sector collaboration on economic recovery and transformation agenda by increasing production and productivity in the rice sub-sector, as enshrined in the Ghana CARES programme.
Mr. Ofori-Atta indicated that, strategic measures were being put in place under the Ghana Cares Obaatan-Pa programme to support rice producers and all other value chain players to scale-up production. The collaboration was in direct response to a felt need that government was working aggressively to address the promotion of the private sector industry.
Government, the Minister disclosed, was committed to “promoting interested private sector actors to cultivate more rice, tomatoes, maize, and other crops using climate-smart sustainable and disease-resistant varieties”.
"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.
Referring to available records on the rice sub-sector in Ghana, the Finance Minister disclosed that, the area under rice cultivation had increased from 189,000 hectares in 2012 to 357,000 hectares by 2021, the production of paddy rice had also increased from 463,000MT in 2011 to 1,143,000 MT by 2021 and within the same time, productivity had increased marginally from 2.35 MT/Ha to 3.20 MT/Ha, whiles the percentage of milled rice has also marginally increased from 60% to 63%.
He assured of the government's deliberate programmes with interconnected institutions to promote domestication in order to address potential food challenges in 2023.
The Minister commended Jospong Group of Companies for this ‘Business-to-Business’ collaboration and urged other private entities to come on board with innovative ideas to support government in its quest to develop the nation.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group, Mr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong noted that the assurance given by the government to provide strategic support to private sector in rice production encouraged him to embark on a strategic visit to Thailand and learn from their best practices concerning rice production.
This, he added, was done while fostering partnership for financial investment in the country's rice sector and further emphasized that, the project was one for Ghana and not for Jospong group.
He said that the project was bigger than the brand, hence, all stakeholders and rice value chain would be consulted and included in the process.
Other speakers at the meeting included Dr. Sicha Singsomboon, Honorary Consul of Ghana in Thailand,and Dr. Vinnie Kumsomboon, Advisor to Honorary Consul, who were all part of the delegation.
Present at the meeting were Dr. Pana Tappinkron, President Bio Tech Fertilizer, President-Save Planet Agro-Economy Development Association and Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office on BCG Rice Model, Thailand, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, Executive Chairman, Jospong Group of Companies, Officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Media. END