The Honorary Consul of Ghana in Thailand, Dr. Sicha Singsomboon, has given a firm assurance that her country was ready to support Ghana in its quest to commercialise rice production.
She said Thailand’s support for Ghana in rice production will come in the form of transfer of technology, seed development, packaging to increase yields.
She gave the assurance on Thursday, December 29, 2022, at a reception dinner organised by the Jospong Group of Companies, for a delegation of investors from Thailand.
The dinner was aimed at welcoming the Thailand delegation for the commencement of the Ghana-Thailand rice collaboration project.
According to Dr. Sicha Singsomboom, it will be her joy to see Ghana upscale her rice production, intimating that Ghana has the potential in that regard.
She said not only will the collaboration between the two countries lead to increase in rice production, but also will provide Ghanaians involved in agriculture some technical know-how.
The Advisor to the Honorary Consul, Thailand and Project Director, Dr. Vinnie Kumsomboon, said as part of the project, some Ghanaian agriculture students would be sponsored to Thailand to learn Thailand’s way of growing rice to enhance production.
Earlier, in a welcome address, the Executive Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, stressed that the partnership was a dream come true.
He allayed fears of market players, saying that “Jospong is not going to re-invent the wheel but rather to augment rice production in Ghana.”
He was, therefore, hopeful the partnership will take off successfully and inure to the benefit of Ghana in several ways.
He recounted what motivated him to travel to Thailand which culminated in the establishment of a company in Thailand called Asia-Africa Cooperation, adding that this company was responsible for the fashioning out of this historic partnership.
He said his trip to Thailand was necessitated by the declaration by H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that by the middle of June, there would be restrictions on the importation of fruit juice, poultry, rice amongst others.
He noted that this was also highlighted in the 2023 budget statement by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
“And so we at Jospong took up the challenge. As an entrepreneur, what we look out for is solving problems so we visited rice farms, rice mills, seed development centres, rice research centres, technical institutions and the Thailand Exim Bank who has promised to offer a whopping $160 million to support the project,” he disclosed.
He said the trip gave birth to the Asia-Africa Cooperation Company in Thailand, which led in the signing of a memorandum of understanding to ensure that wherever possible in Ghana, rice should be produced provided water is available.
“The idea of Jospong in the rice sector is not to compete but to support the production of rice in the country,” he affirmed.
According to him, teams have been formed who have toured all the 16 regions of Ghana to ascertain the form of technical know-how to transfer.
Present at the event was the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo, who pledged his ministry’s readiness to support in every form necessary to realise the Ghana-Thailand rice project.
The Member of Parliament for Juaboso, who is also the CEO of Akando Rice, Chairman of the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body, Nana Adjei Ayeh II, and the Coordinating Director-Technical and Programme Director, Ghana Cares, Obaatanpa Programme at the Ministry of Finance, Ms. Eva Esselba Mends, all assured Jospong of their unflinching support.
The occasion was also used to launch two important initiatives aimed at safeguarding the environment. First, was the launch of the Save Planet Agro Economy Development Association to ensure the production of rice, seed development, research amongst others, and then the second, was the Thai-Ghana Business Chamber.