Rice farmers at Ohiamadwen and its surrounding communities in the Shama District are planning a massive demonstration against the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) over the closure of a rice mill in the area.
The Assembly member of Anto-Aboso Electoral Area, Mr. Famous Hotorwovi, made this known to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ meeting at Shama.
The assemblyman said he would soon petition the police for permission and also provide the demonstrators protection.
He said the rice mill had been operated by Nana Kwame Sam and Norbert Sowornu at Ohiamadwen which milled paddy rice from farmers in the area for the past one-and-half years.
However, he said, MOFA issued a directive for the closure of the rice mill about one-and-half months ago and this had created economic hardship for rice farmers because they could not mill their rice for sale.
Reacting to the closure of the rice mill Mr. Kofi Ayiah, former Western Regional Coordinator of the Inland Valley Rice Development Project (IVRDP), explained that the rice mill operators were to register the facility at the Registrar Generals’ Department as a business entity.
In addition, since the facility was put up by MOFA, the operators must pay 10 percent of the cost of the machine in the first year of operation amounting to GHc15, 000.
Mr Ayiah said the operators had failed to comply with the terms and conditions set out by MOFA, hence the closure of the facility. GNA