The Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body says it is looking forward to the Ghana Buffer Stock Company to offer rice farmers with ready market for their produce after harvest.
After reports of unsold rice in the Upper East Region, the Buffer Stock Company intervened to assist the farmers.
Addressing the media at a national engagement by the JAK Foundation in conjunction with GRIB, the President of the Ghana inter-professional body, Nana Adjei Ayeh II, expressed confidence that the National Buffer Stock Company will step in again to help rice farmers.
In November last year, Citi Business News reported that Rice farmers operating in the Fumbisi Rice Valleys in the Builsa South District of the Upper East Region were having their produce go waste due to the lack of ready market.
After that report, the Buffer Stock Company unleashed its licensed buying companies to mop up all the rice.
“Our rice keeps rotting away and buyers are not coming. This year, we are pleading with government to find us buyers because look at this rice (with a stretched palm full of unwholesome rice), it’s spoilt!” one farmer lamented.
Another frustrated farmer said, “The main challenge we have here is the lack of buyers. When we harvest the rice, we don’t even have platforms to dry the rice on.”
Currently, rice farmers nationwide are cultivating and looking forward to bumper harvest between September and October this year.
The farmers are thus expectant that when the produce is ready, the Buffer Stock Company will provide them with ready market.
President of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional body, Nana Adjei Ayeh II, assured the farmers that, “The consumption of local rice has gone up since last year. We know from our members, that the local consumption has gone up. By my last check, Buffer Stock is also preparing itself. Don’t forget that we are not in the harvesting season now, the harvest starts from August and after August, I think Buffer Stock will stat taking stock from our farmers.”
Meanwhile, the rice farmers say the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down their activities in the past few months. Nana Adjei Ayeh II told Citi Business News, business will pick up as soon as everything returns to near normal.
“Business is slow because people are not making money, and people cannot move around to do business like they used to do, but I think people are accepting the new normal so we’re going to adjust to it.”