A report on consumable goods conducted by Konfidants – a diversified international advisory firm, indicates that only 6 percent of locally produced rice are sold in major supermarkets in the country. This implies that a total of 94 percent of the commodity sold in Ghana’s supermarkets are imported.
This presents a big concern for all stakeholders in the rice production value chain including government and the Ministry of Agriculture in its efforts to ensuring high consumption of local made products.
The survey was conducted between April and May 2019, It covered eight leading supermarkets in Accra including Shoprite (Accra Mall), Game (Accra Mall), Palace Supermarket (Palace Mall) and Koala (Osu).
Last year, government set an ambitious plan to increase local rice production by 49 percent. This plan is to boost local rice production to over one million metric tonnes and so, to drastically reduce rice imports.
Despite this initiative, Ghana still continues to imports large volume of rice, thus largely impacting negatively on the consumption of local rice as consumers always prefer choosing foreign rice over local rice. It is estimated that Ghana spends millions of dollars to import rice annually. For instance, Ghana spent over US$1.1 billion in 2017 to import rice.
The president of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), Nana Kwabena Agyei Ayeh II earlier told the Goldstreet Business that this is a major concern for all stakeholder and thus urged government to establish a ministry solely for rice to ensure not only reduction of rice imports, but to see large volumes of locally produced rice being sold at all markets.
In an effort to ensure more locally made products being exhibited in the shelves of supermarkets in the country, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has on most occasions reiterated that steps are being taken to address the matter through initiating policies that will be binding on the supermarkets to reserve a portion of their shelves to exhibit made in Ghana products. However, such a policy is yet to see the test of time.