Afia Nyarko Asare
Ghana spent US$1.35 billion last year on rice importation alone, foreign exchange that could be used on machinery to modernize the economy.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osarfo Marfo, lamented this enlightening that the same amount could be invested in growing rice in the country.
He uncovered this yesterday in Accra during a Ghana beyond Aid (GBA) committee’s stakeholder consultation with the leadership of faith-based organizations (FBOs)
When presenting the GBA charter document, he said there was some part of the Northern Region which could grow more than enough rice to feed West Africa supported with irrigation.
Mr Osafo-Maafo indicated that, private sector development was important because the rice production could not be developed by government but the private sector.
“It will depend on private farmers to develop rice like we depend on cocoa farmers to develop cocoa,” he emphasized.
In addition, the minister stated, there was the need for human development hence, focusing on technical and vocational education would enhance the economic growth of the country.
“Countries that have made it such as South Korea, Japan and Germany, that is where the emphasis is on their education system,” he said.
In order to achieve a country beyond aid, Mr Osafo-Maafo added that, there was the need to harness effectively available resources and deploy them creatively and efficiently for rapid economic and social transformation.