Despite the existing embargo on the export of cereals and grains, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, 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.
When the DCE for Garu in the Upper East Region spoke to Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show in a recent interview, he mentioned that the smuggling of grains and cereals is not any different in the Garu area, the reason the Assembly has taken stringent measures to deal with the illegality.
“It is a reality, but because we have started working on it, it has actually toned down. What we now want to do is enforce market surveillance with the market women themselves. We have insiders that would monitor these things and tell us.”
Mr. Musah warned that any individual that would be involved in the smuggling of grains or cereals would be dealt with according to the dictates of the law.
“I want to warn that nobody should allow his vehicle to be used in this grain smuggling. If we get a vehicle that is involved, the vehicle would be impounded and all the goods would be seized,” he said.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana