The Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with key rice sector players in Thailand for the establishment of Seed Development and Research Centers, Rice Mechanization Centers, Bio-Organic Fertilizer Production Centers, Supply of Farm Implements, and Rice Mills in Ghana in response to the government’s decision to increase the country’s rice production.
When the aforementioned facilities are finished, the nation’s rice production will increase, significantly lowering the need for imports.
As part of efforts to promote exports, the government will increase the productive capacity in the real sector of the economy and actively encourage the consumption of locally produced rice, poultry, vegetable oil, fruit juices, ceramic tiles, and other goods, according to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who last week presented the 2023 Budget to Parliament.
In view of the aforementioned, the first group of the Thai technical team is anticipated to land in Ghana in December of this year.
It comes after a team from JGC headed by its Executive Chairman, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, visited Thailand.
In order to replicate their experiences and tactics in Ghana, the team traveled to Thailand to research the country’s rice industry.
The Jospong Group of Companies seeks to collaborate with significant Thai rice industry players in order to offer technical and equipment support for Ghana’s whole rice value chain in order to produce rice for both the domestic and international markets.
The JGC delegation was assisted by H.E. Florence Akonor, the High Commissioner of Ghana to Malaysia, who was in charge of Thailand and other South-East Asian nations.
The High Commissioner stated that the rice initiative represents a new level of mutually beneficial bilateral collaboration between Ghana and Thailand.
She expressed her gratitude to Dr. Sicha Singsomboon, the Honorary Consul, and her staff for their efforts in arranging the visit.
She emphasized that the partnership was essential for advancing cooperation to strengthen both nations’ economies, particularly in regards to rice production.
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, the Executive Chairman, urged participants in the Ghana rice value chain to work together for the growth of the industry during a press conference he gave in Bangkok on the eve of the trip.
Ghana imports more than 60% of its rice every year, which has disastrous economic effects. Between 2007 and 2015, the amount spent on imported rice increased from $151 million to $1.2 billion annually, with imports from Thailand, Vietnam, and India mostly serving to supplement domestic consumption. The amount of rice imported by Ghana each year, which is approximately 1.3 billion USD, keeps rising.
Only the substantial financial input by major sector participants from the private sector would be able to change this negative narrative in the rice industry. It is excellent news that JGC decided to heed the government’s request and enter the sector, particularly in value addition.
The JGC has always taken the lead in enhancing people’s lives by offering answers to issues.
With land banks in place, JGC has already started producing rice on its 100,000 acres. To realize this aim, the Group plans to collaborate with the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB) and other regional rice players. Integrated rice farming techniques are used in the project, including seed development, paddy production, milling, packing, and marketing.
The delegation met with Thai rice industry leaders during their tour and had discussions with them. This featured the Thai Farmers Lifestyle and Learning Center, Thai EXIM Bank, and producers of rice-related machinery like Kubota, Satake, and Deler Engineering Services.
After being impressed, the Thai EXIM Bank declared its willingness to assist JGC. The delegation also went to Kasetsart University, the Institute of Food Research and Product Development, and fertilizer producers.