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Ghana to end tomato imports, cut rice imports by 50% in 2019

Ministry of Food and Agriculture says it is looking to cut down imports of rice by 50 per cent as well as end the importation of tomato this year.

Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, George Oduro said the government is working to cut the levels of food import significantly.

He said “this year alone, our target it to stop the importation of rice by 50 per cent. Then for tomato too, we hope to end it importation completely so that we produce enough even for export because we have the capacity to do so.”

According to him, efforts to expand irrigation projects, the introduction of mechanization are among the efforts to help boost production.

Mr Oduro was speaking at a breakfast meeting held by Integrity magazine on the theme ‘Opportunities for Ghana Israel Business Cooperation in Agriculture Innovation and Technology.’

The event brought together various stakeholders along the agriculture value chain to discuss the role of agriculture and how to boost its contribution to the nation’s GDP.

According to the Israeli Ambassador to Ghana Shani Cooper, his government will continue to invest in Ghana’s Agric sector.

“We have so many investments in Ghana worth hundreds of millions of dollars but we believe aid comes with commerce so we also doing a lot n capacity building for farmers. We are also working to attract more investors from Israel to Ghana in the agriculture sector to boost commerce between the two states” Madam Cooper said.

Meanwhile CEO of Integrity Magazine organizers of the event, Reverend Kenedy Okosun said developing the Agric sector is fundamental to the nation’s development.

“You know by increasing our production we can start to export food out of the country. By doing so we can address one of our big issues with the currency so we can have enough supply for other investors who want to go into industrialization or other businesses,” he said.

Records from the Ministry shows that in 2017, Ghana imported some 656.232 Metric Tons of rice worth $331.2 million.

In the same period, some 75 thousand metric tons of tomatoes was also imported to meet domestic demand as the situation the Ministry describes as worrying.

 

Source: Myjoyonline

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