The Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB) has begun a decentralization process to help create a more robust rice value chain in the country.
With support from the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation (JAKF), GRIB has elected district and regional executives across the country. The executives comprise various members of the rice value chain including farmers, millers, marketers/aggregators, input dealers, service providers, among others.
Elections were held nationwide in rice-growing regions of the country including Eastern, Bono East, Oti, Western, Western North, Upper East, North East, Central, Volta and Ashanti to elect presidents, secretaries and treasurers.
The Directorate of Crops at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture collaborated with the foundation in rolling out of the elections.
Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyeman – Duah noted the objective of the nationwide elections is to initiate rice platforms under GRIB to strengthen coordination and representation of rice value chain actors at the district, regional and national level.
This will put GRIB in a more strengthened position to engage government on issues in the rice sector.
“It is our fervent hope that the executives will strengthen coordination and engagement at all levels to ensure a vibrant and robust national value chain association for rice sector development in Ghana under the umbrella of GRIB,” he noted.
The Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body is the national umbrella organization of rice stakeholders incorporated in 2014 to help build a competitive local rice sector.
Prof. Agyeman – Duah says the foundation will continue to work with GRIB to better strengthen the rice sector.
“We work very closely with GRIB. Four years ago, it was almost dormant. But we were able to raise some funds to get it revived and right now it’s becoming one of the most vibrant organization promoting rice consumption in the country,” he said.
Ghana currently spends more than $600 million annually importing rice despite the huge local capacity to grow enough. Stakeholders are working to reverse the situation.