National Food Buffer Stock Limited has said that it aims to remove the 60,000 maxi bags of excess rice grains left in the open, at the Fumbisi Rice Valley in the Busila South District of the Upper East region.
Hanan Abdul-Wahab, Chief executive Officer of the Stock said by the end of month the rice bags will be put them on the market for sale.
He told the host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday that this “will be possible because buyers have expressed interest in purchasing the rice grains as a result of the exposure gained through a news coverage done by JoyNews.”
Mr Abdul-Wahab revealed that “licensed market buyers registered under the National Buffer Stock will purchase the grains and they will take them to the mills and continue the production of rice making it ready to supply.”
Rice farmers have been so far unable to find a market to sell their rice because the market is saturated with imported rice which is currently sold at relatively lower prices.
The CEO explained that the reason behind the farmers’ excess yield is that improved seeds were given to farmers rather than the traditional seeds. Thus, there was a greater yield this year.
He highlighted though “that a greater yield was expected and that’s why the One District One Factory (1D1F) policy was introduced to curb the anticipated challenge.”
However, there is still a significant lack of storage warehouses in the country and rice farmers are worried that their harvest will go to waste.
According to Mr Abdul-Wahab, so far seven warehouses have been completed under the 1D1F initiative and are ready to store excess rice grains.
Two other warehouses, are 95 per cent complete and will also soon store excess grains.
He also added that the National Buffer Stock is committing to purchasing ¢50million worth of rice grains and maize this year.