CEO of HGL, a multi-grain processing facility, Senyo Hosi says the government needs to prioritize the reversal of the benchmark value reduction policy on rice even as it continues to engage stakeholders on the way forward.
He argues that such a move is necessary in order not to derail all the gains that have been made with regard to rice production in the country so far.
The government earlier this month made the decision to indefinitely suspend the reversal of the benchmark value following disagreements between sections of the business community.
Already, the Rice Millers Association of Ghana, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana and the General Agricultural Workers Union have stated that the continuous implementation of the policy will render about 100,000 workers in the rice value chain jobless if not reversed.
“It must be immediate because our planting season is about to take off, we are preparing the land, I am going to have to scale down. This season I was hoping to actually develop a thousand hectares. Last season we did a major test run, but we got hit because of this benchmark value. We did about three hundred and fifty hectares, that’s about one thousand acres. This time we want to actually move to about two thousand five hundred acres, but with this going on, I have to rethink and manage my investments”.
“I’m talking to my bank looking at how to move investments into my milling capacity, who is going to listen to us to expand our capacity even our existing capacity, we are underutilizing it and we are now forecasting bigger capacity when you have benchmark values being reduced. I mean how do you really want to solve these issues of unemployment? how do you want to advance the course of industrialization? How can we say 1D, 1F and in the same vain be doing everything to make sure that we have zero D, zero F?” Senyo Hosi quizzed.