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Senior Minister fumes over Ghana spending US$1.35bn on rice importation

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has lamented over Ghana spending US$1.35 billion last year on rice importation alone.

According to him, foreign exchange that could be used on machinery to modernise the economy was spent on rice although rice could be grown in every part of the country.

Mr Osafo-Maafo made this known yesterday in Accra speaking at the Ghana Beyond Aid (GBA) committee’s stakeholder consultation with the leadership of faith-based organisations (FBOs)

In a presentation on the GBA charter document, he said there was some part of the Northern Region which could grow more than enough rice to feed West Africa with little irrigation.

Mr Osafo-Maafo indicated that, private sector development was important because the rice production could not be developed by government but the private sector.

“It will depend on private farmers to develop rice like we depend on cocoa farmers to develop cocoa,” he noted.

In addition, the minister stated, there was the need for human development hence, focusing on technical and vocational education would enhance the economic growth of the country.

“The countries that have made it such as South Korea, Japan and Germany, that is where the emphasis is on their education system,” he said.

In order to achieve a country beyond aid, Mr Osafo-Maafo added that, there was the need to harness effectively available resources and deploy them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.

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