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Agric Minister worried about smuggling of paddy rice from Fumbisi to Nigeria

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Despite the existing embargo on the export of cereals and grains, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has expressed great worry about the smuggling of paddy rice from the rice valleys in the Builsa South area to countries like Nigeria. 

Dr. Akoto expressed these concerns when he spoke on URA Radio today, December 7, 2022, as part of his official working visit to the Upper East Region. 

“What we are finding is very disturbing. In spite of this regulation coming into force last year around this time, there’s huge illegal export of food coming from this region. I went to Fumbisi valley, the total area under cultivation in Builsa South was 6, 677 hectares this year. The total production of rice that we expect is 15,000 metric tonnes. More than 15,000mt of rice. I’ve been to the valley yesterday, out of the 6,600 hectares, government has intervened, through SAPIP, to develop over a thousand hectares of land for rice at great cost to the nation. I went there yesterday to confirm that there has been the harvest [and] they have all been harvested. Where are the stocks?” he asked. 

The unavailability of the rice, according to Dr. Akoto, suggests something sinister is afoot. 

“It confirms what I heard in Accra that these Nigerians and so on have come to the farmer gates and bought all the stock that they could get of paddy rice and taken it back to their country. Although the regulation is strictly in force. So it is a very serious threat to our food security,” he said. 

The Minister appealed to the players in the sector, along with the security services to apprehend the perpetrators and allow the law to deal with them accordingly.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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