Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has rallied support for the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) as they look to revolutionarize the production and trade of rice on the continent.
Members of ARAP and stakeholders of rice farming, after a two-day learning event in Accra, paid a courtesy call on the former President, who has spearheaded this revolution through his foundation, J.A.K. foundation in conjunction with the Competitive Africa Rice Initiative (CARI).
Addressing the entourage at his residence, former President Kufour highlighted the importance of ARAP in leading the way of enhancing rice production on the continent to help curb the increasing importation of rice to Africa.
”Africa is undergoing transformation and perhaps the most basic of all the aspects of our continental life is agriculture. The world is currently engaged in sustainable development goals and one of the principles of the goals is to eradicate hunger.
”Rice is becoming perhaps the most common staple in this dramatic change, and if that is the case, it’s just right and proper that, there should be a leadership like yours, so that across the continent, we can focus on growing rice and it should be nutritious rice.”
“We should use science and technology in developing the value chain of rice production and when we succeed in this, we would appreciate its impact on the economic development of the continent.
President Kufour lamented the billions of dollars spent on the importation of rice, which the continent can ill afford and reiterated the need for agriculture inputs being made available to facilitate the production of quality rice.
President Kufour also expressed delight, with the African Development Bank (ADB) and other financial firms who are poised to support this course.
Acting ARAP Chair, Mr. Julius Wambura, appreciated the support from the former President, as the Platform remains poised to improve the production of quality rice and create a larger market for our farmers.
He said, ARAP had been established at the right time and have a responsibility to convince governments to put in place policies to protect the local markets and help boost trade among Africa countries.