As part of activities to promote the quality of local rice on the market and ensure increase in patronage and consumption, measures are being put in place to institute Enforcement of National Rice Standard this year.
The enforcement will result in the use of certification logo affixed in all bags of rice produced locally in order to certify its quality and approval by regulatory bodies.
The move is being spearheaded by the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIP). The group has already started engaging relevant regulatory bodies and institutions such as Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation and others to ensure compliance.
Recent engagement between GRIP, the GSA and FDA are yielding greater results. The standard in quality of paddy and milled rice has been developed and upgraded by the GSA whereas the enforcement process is expected to be carried out by the FDA and GRIP.
Already, some representatives from the FDA and GSA have trained a number of value chain actors in Asutuare and in some parts of the Ashanti Region in ensuring standardization.
The rice Body and other key stakeholders in the sector will soon commence awareness creation and sensitization of its members especially small holder farmers nationwide on the development.
According to GRIP, producers and marketers who fail to meet the standard set by the GSA would not be dealt with, but rather be encouraged to meet the standard in due course.
Speaking to the Goldstreet Business, president of GRIP Nana Kwabena Agyei Ayeh II said his outfit all the major partners involved in the value chain are determined to institute the use of certification logo to ensure full compliance.
By Dundas Whigham