Tonnes of rice remain unsold by commercial rice farmers in the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region. The rice is currently stocked in warehouses within the district belonging to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA).
This is in sharp contrast to earlier claims by the DCE for the area. Daniel Kwame Gariba.
Daniel Kwame Gariba, the DCE for the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region shrugged off claims that rice farmers in the area are unable to sell off huge stockpiles of rice due to the unavailability of market.
Again, the DCE laughed off claims that farmers in the area do not have enough storage facilities to keep their produce.
Mr Gariba explained that such comments emanate from political opponents who are farmers in the area. He added that such comments are just to make the government unpopular but do not represent the situation on the ground.
He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.
“We have made it a point to let farmers; especially the commercial farmers, know that the facilities are available for use. What I have noticed is that, the farmers after harvest usually want immediate cash. Some of them are not able to pay for combine harvester services so it is after they have sold their produce that they can pay for the services.”
But speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Monday, July 11, 2022, the Secretary of the Commerical Rice Farmers in Builsa South, Daniel Atulik explained that farmers still have rice that has not been sold.
“My colleagues still have rice at the various warehouses and we are not getting buyers. The reason why it is packed is most of us couldn’t harvest while the rice was still wet. So the rice is dry. The millers say when they buy to mill, they are not able to make up their profit. It is packed.”
“At the district level, this rice we are talking about is in MoFA warehouses. They [staff of the Department of Agriculture] see it every day,” he said.
Because the millers are uninterested in acquiring the dry rice for milling, the rice farmers have turned their attention to processors who parboil the rice; even so, it has become difficult to sell off the abundantly available rice.
“We have to turn our attention to the market buyers. You know, some buy in small quantities and parboil them, When it is dry, you need to parboil before you can mill it. When that is done, it will not break. That one also comes with extra costs. Those that are willing to buy the dry rice, the price they are giving is not good enough.”
“This year is not interesting for farmers at all,” he said.
Also, rice farmers in the Builsa South District are predicting that Ghana may run into food crises in the coming months. This, they say, has been caused by multiple factors.
Speaking in a recent interview on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, the Secretary of the Builsa South Commercial Rice Farmers, Daniel Atulik explained that the exponential increases in the prices of fuel at the pumps have directly influenced the cost of land preparation.
Mr. Atulik explained that rice farmers are having to cough up between Ghc180 and Ghc200 to enable tractor operators to plough the land.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana