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Aggressive push to boost rice production
 
Posted on: 09-Sep-2013         Source: GNA
 
 
 
The Food and Agriculture Ministry has embarked on an aggressive push to boost rice production in the twin-districts of Asante-Akim North and Central.

As part of this, farmers are being taught how to use new but simple technologies to improve yield.

This is being done with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under a project called “Sustainable development of rain-fed lowland rice production”.

With simple, locally manufactured implements, the farmers could harvest two-fold the yield they previously used to from a quarter of an acre of land cultivated.

They are also being introduced to technologies involving the combination of water, salt and eggs to improve the quality and taste of the local rice.

Mr. Samuel Terkpor, a JICA representative, speaking at a farmers’ durbar at Odumasi in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality, said this is showing good results with rice production levels, in Ashanti having shot up to 5.4 tonnes per acre from 1.2 tonnes.

Similar activities are on-going in other selected districts of the region as well as the Northern Region.

He encouraged more farmers to embrace the project to help raise production significantly.
Mr. Terkpor said it must not be lost on anyone that “aside gold and other minerals, there is still money in the soil”.
He expressed deep worry about the growing seizure of farmlands for illegal mining operations and urged chiefs and land owners to help check the situation.
Mr. Samuel Ampofo, Project Coordinator at the Municipal MOFA Office, said more efforts should be put in, to increase rice cultivation to assure the nation of adequate food security.
“Nearly 80 per cent of rice produced in Ghana is cultivated in lowland conditions by small-scale farmers and that is why they should be supported with appropriate technologies to boost yield.”
Mr. Michael Opoku-Nkansah, the Municipal Coordinating Director, gave the assurance that the assembly would work hard to address challenges facing farmers in the area.