Friday, July 17, 2009

Foreign Ministry inspects India rice at warehouse

Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), National Investment Bank (NIB) and Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, on Wednesday inspected 300,000 bags of white rice, imported into the country in February, from India.Out of the number, 282,746 have been certified to be good for consumption and would be repackaged, Dr John Aggrey, Chief Director of MOFA, who led the team, said in Accra.Dr Aggrey said the inspection was a directive from cabinet to the Ministry, to ascertain the value and quality of the rice, adding that NIB had been directed to open letters of credit as a guarantee and confirmation for payment.He said the importation of the rice was the outcome of negotiations by the former government in March last year to boost the country's rice industry, which was hit by shortage.Dr Aggrey noted that India at the time had placed an embargo on rice exportation for fear that its industry might also be affected. He said the Ministry and its Indian counterparts met to discuss the issue in September, leading to the allocation of 15,000 tonnes each of rice to Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal and 10,000 tonnes to Cameroon. Dr Aggrey explained that the rice arrived at the time when Ghana had improved on its stock.He said NIB had now been tasked to sell the rice.

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