Strengthen local food processing to reduce food import bill-IFPRI Research Officer

Ghana Agriculture News-A Research Officer with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) says there is tremendous opportunity for Ghana to strengthen local food system and agro-processing sector.

Karl Pauw who is also the country Program Leader for IFPRI-Ghana, believes this will help substitute a lot of the food imports into Ghana.

“As a rule, we are not saying we should substitute imports just for the sake of it but because we can produce more effectively and at lower costs than the status quo”, he emphasized.

Karl Pauw who spoke to Bernard Buachi of was not amused about the fact that Ghana’s food imports tripled within a space of three years using data between 2009 and 2013. “The statistics are on import statistics and are fairly dated, we don’t have recent trade statistics” he conceded.

He explained that the rising food imports could be attributed to a shift in consumer preferences towards processed foods. “Ghana’s local food sectors are not able to supply that demand, hence the shift of the markets towards imports”, he said and explained how much of a toll these imports have on the country’s foreign exchange.

He says the fact that the foods imported are very basic eg. Tomato paste, cooking oil, rice, poultry etc. presents a great opportunity for the country to strengthen her agro-processing sector.


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI currently has more than 600 employees working in over 50 countries.

IFPRI has been supporting agricultural policy-making in Ghana since 2005. The overall objective is to conduct research and advise on strategic policy options to support agricultural growth, rural development, and economic transformation in Ghana. Program activities consists of rigorous policy research, policy outreach, and capacity building.

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