Citi Business News’ checks at the Food and Drugs Authority(FDA) has revealed that the Authority received an alert on some substandard rice that was being imported into the Ghanaian market from Myanmar.
Officials at the FDA quickly moved to prevent the unwholesome rice from entering Ghana with the aid of the customs division and other state agencies.
The unwholesome rice then wondered across the West African sub-region until it entered Ivory Coast.
According the BBC, authorities in Ivory Coast destroyed 18,000 tonnes that were rejected at the Tema Port because it was unfit for human consumption.
Although the FDA is yet to ascertain the brand name of the rice as well as its importers, the BBC reports that the shipment of the rice, from Myanmar was unwholesome and should not have been shipped to any country.
Reports say the said rice had been refused entry at several West African ports in recent weeks, including Lome, Conakry and Accra. The rice however found its way into Abidjan.
“We receive a lot of alerts. Normally the security agencies check these things and inform us,” an officer at the FDA who wants to remain anonymous told Citi Business News in an interview.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Ministry of Agriculture had earlier assured that plans are in place to reduce the importation of rice by at least 50 percent this year.
This the ministry says is to enhance the growth and consumption of local rice in Ghana.
Currently, Ghana imports 331 million dollars of rice annually, a development stakeholders had described as worrying.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, George Oduro has already assured that measures such as the ‘planting for food and jobs’ as well as the newly introduced Irrigation land facility system should help reduce the importation of rice by half.
By Nana Oye Ankrah/Citibusinessnews.com/Ghana