The 2021 National Best Farmer, Mashud Mohammed is appealing to the government to tread cautiously with the proposed Import Restrictions Bill.

He stated that the bill needs a re-evaluation to yield effective outcomes, emphasising that since the majority of Ghanaians are unaware of the advantages of buying locally produced goods, sensitisation is necessary before the implementation of the restriction.

The Minority in Parliament last week fiercely opposed the law which was laid before the House by the Trade and Industry Minister, Kobina Tahir Hammond arguing that it would impede the growth of numerous businesses.

The bill’s passage will limit 22 selected products including sugar, rice, poultry, and motor cars that can be imported into the country.

On the back of this, Mr Mohammed said the sudden implementation of the restriction would collapse many businesses hence government should be systematic in the approach.

“On the restriction on rice imports into the country, it’s a very good step in the right direction. And as a farmer, we support that the government should do it but we should have a plan, maybe in the next 5 years, what we should be doing.

“This year we can say we are reducing imports by 20%, the following year, by 40%. Then gradually, we become used to it. Then we conscientize Ghanaians about the quality of rice we have and then how tasty it is, before we begin to restrict all these things.”

He emphasised that it will not be prudent for the government to just restrict the importations completely.

“Let’s be more careful; the prices of meat and food will go high, and people may not afford it. It should be systematic and not one time,” Mr Mohammed said.