Avnash Rice Mill has restated commitment to its five-year plan to support and create at least one million jobs (direct and indirect) for Ghanaians by 2022.
The Chief Executive Officer of Avnash Rice Mill, Mr. Jai Mirchandani, said this when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the Royal Farmers Rice, a premium parboiled long grain rice, which is locally produced to meet the rising demand for the produce and reduce its importation in the West African country.
According to Mirchandani, the processing plant, a state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to process 500 metric tonnes of paddy rice per day, was capable of feeding the entire country with the highest quality of rice.
Mirchandani disclosed: â€œThis year, we estimate the livelihoods of 32,000 farmers to benefit from this Rice Mill, while transporters, aggregators, mechanised service suppliers, inputs providers, and the families of an estimated 200,000 peopleâ€.
The launch, which marked the formal introduction of Royal Farmers Rice into the Ghanaian market, was also a major boost for increased domestic rice production and processing.
Royal Farmers Rice is product of Avnash Rice Mill, located at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of Ghanaâ€™s Northern Region, which buys quality rice from local farmers for processing.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, who launched the produce at Nyankpala to round off his three-day visit to the region interacting with chiefs and people, described the operations of Avnash Rice Mill as a good signal that would help to attract more investments into the country.
He therefore challenged rice farmers to increase their production as there was a ready market for their produce.
Ghanaâ€™s Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, disclosed that according to the 2016 figures of his Ministry, $1.1 billion dollarsâ€™ worth of rice was imported.
Akoto said the Planting for Food and Jobs programme would help rice farmers to increase their production to feed the Avnash Rice Mill, which was currently underperforming because rice produced locally was not enough to meet its capacity.
Meanwhile, Avnash Rice Mill expects increased rice production by farmers including Abanga Farms, a large scale rice producer, which has cultivated 1,200-acre rice farm in the Northern Region to help meet its demand.
The Director of Abanga Farms, Mr. Thomas Abanga, said he had earmarked large acreages for rice cultivation next year to ensure regular high tonnage supply of high quality paddy rice to the rice processing sector to minimise the high volume of rice imported.
Avnash is a Ghanaian company with its main interest in agribusiness processing, and it roots in its motherland since 1960. The agribusiness comprising â€“ Edible Oil Refining, Soap & Personal Care Manufacturing, and Rice Milling â€“ is one of the largest investments in West Africa offering premium products ranging from cooking oil, laundry and bathing soaps and rice.