The General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of GTUC is leading a campaign that aims at branding the locally produced rice.
Mr. Raymond Ategbi, Coordinating Officer at GAWU has, therefore, called on all Civil Society Organisations to join GAWU to wage an unrelenting
campaign to influence the government's policy in the rice industry.
At an informal meeting with Agricultural Students in selected tertiary institutions to discuss difficulties faced in the agricultural sector, in Accra, Mr. Ategbi said major decision makers in government ministries, agencies and departments must work together towards a coherent policy to reduce rice importation in the country while boosting and improving local production.
"An aggressive advertising campaign to encourage the consumption of local rice is needed," he said and asked producers, farmers and millers to be supported to produce quality and sufficient rice in Ghana.
Mr. Ategbi blamed the low rice production rate on the liberalisation of trade and withdrawal of subsidies on agricultural inputs.
"This has resulted in the importation of cheap and highly subsidised rice on the domestic market; this is crippling the rice industry in Ghana and the livelihood of farmers as a whole," he said.
Mr. Ategbi said rice farmers presently contributed only about 35 per cent of the nation's rice consumption but GAWU was optimistic that rice farmers could satisfy the required rice consumption of the country if the right policies were implemented to protect the industry.