In reaction to the closure of Nigeria’s land borders, the Republic of Ghana is putting three-year plan in place to end importation of rice and poultry into the West African country.
The plan was made disclosed by Ghana’s Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto weeks after Ghana pleaded with Nigeria to reopen her closed borders, affirming that the country was heavily affected by Nigeria’s decision to close her land borders.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto explained Ghana wants to divert its attention into boosting local production and shun heavy reliance on rice and poultry importation, hence the three years’ timeline.
About 82% of the bulk of Ghana’s imports is rice alone. This accounts for over $1 billion, a calculation that translates into almost 2% of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Ghana’s Deputy Trades Minister, Robert Ahomka Lindsay revealed.
Ghana plans to end importation of rice and poultry products through a flagship programme tagged “Planting for Food and Jobs” in order to boost local capacity to meet high demand as well as stimulate trade between merchants and local farmers.
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto said the Planting for Foods and Jobs initiative would be operational in three years and enough to combat rice and poultry importation during that same period. He was confident his ideas would work because the law backs his decisions and he noted that the initiative did not violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules neither was it overambitious.