GHANA – Domestic rice production in Ghana is expected to jump by 5% to 600,000 MT in the Marketing Year 2021/22, a rise from the previous year’s estimate of 570,000 MT.
The increase in production is attributed to expansion of area put under rice cultivation, in line with the country’s plan of becoming self-sufficient in regards to the crop, indicates USDA in a GAIN report.
Rice is grown throughout all regions of Ghana. However, the top five production areas are the Volta, Northern, Upper East, Ashanti, and Western in descending order.
In most cases, the grain is grown once per year, but in rare instances where irrigation is available, producers may plant two crops per year.
The primary growing seasons are April/May (planting) and July/August (harvesting) for Volta, Ashanti and Eastern Regions. In the Northern and Upper East, producers will typically plant in July/August and harvest in October/November.
Rice is increasingly a main part of the diet in many Ghanaian homes due to its relative ease of preparation and palatable recipes.
The country’s per capita rice consumption is estimated at about 48kg/year, and with Ghana’s population now estimated at over 31 million in 2021, and growth rate of 2.12%, demand is expected to increase accordingly.
The report estimates that during the period under review, rice consumption will increase 2% to 1.58million MT.
With production being far below expected consumption volumes, Ghana is set to import 950,000 MT, unchanged from MY2020/21.
This trend of stabilization and potentially an eventual dip in rice imports is expected in the coming years a result of aggressive domestic efforts to increase production and also improve processing quality.
Vietnam, Thailand, India and Pakistan are the major rice suppliers of the country.
Wheat imports to rise with increase in consumption
Meanwhile, Ghana’s wheat consumption is forecast at 832,000 MT, a marginal increase of less than one percent with respect to 2020/21 estimate of 827,000 MT.
This increase is due to increasing population, urbanization and its attendant changing dietary habits as well as the growing middle class that consumes various wheat flour products with greater regularity.
Also, the aquaculture and piggery sectors are growing, increasing the demand for animal feed, which hitherto had been the preserve of the poultry industry.
The country relies on wheat imports as the country does not grow the crop.
In MY2021/22, imports are forecast at 1.0 MMT, an increase of about two percent from previous period’s 980,000 MT.
Major suppliers of wheat to Ghana include Canada, Russia, the United States, and France, with Canada typically accounting for over half of the market share.
Turkey has now joined the suppliers and currently ranks second, with significant supply of pre-bagged hard wheat flour.
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