The first ever National Rice Festival has opened at the Efua Sutherland Park, Accra. The two-day event of training workshops and local rice exhibitions formed part of the 8th General Assembly of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB) - A national umbrella organization of rice stakeholders.
"GRIB is stepping up efforts to introduce new standards for the production of local-rice by the end of the year. This entails instituting quality-control mechanisms to ensure local-rice is produced to meet the international standards.
"It would see GRIB become the certifying-body for locally produced rice," GRIB President, Mr. Imoro Amoro said.
He added that packaging is a major factor to be considered to ensure that local rice competes favorably with imported ones on the market.
"Packaging is one of our biggest problems, because the local packaging cannot be compared to that of the imported rice. So if we want to address this, we at least guarantee the quality of the rice that can equally be appealing as that of the imported ones"
He stressed that in the past; rice was eaten mainly by wealthy people in the cities, but today is eaten by everybody.
The event attracted various local and international stakeholders in the rice industry to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in the sector and introduce new initiatives targeted at improving the capacity of stakeholders to produce more rice for local and international consumption.
The two-day event is on the theme: 'Growing a vibrant rice industry through public-private partnership for food security,' will also afford stakeholders the opportunity to stress on the significance of improving the capacity of private sector to grow the local rice sector.