Stakeholders Meeting To Revive Rice Production In Northern Ghana
A stakeholders meeting on the final selection of lowlands for the Rice Sector Support Project (RSSP) has taken place in Yendi in the Northern Region. It was organised by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, staff of the ministry, farmers and representatives of the Municipal Assembly. Mr Joseph Yeng Faalong, Regional Director of Food and Agriculture said the RSSP has a goal to improve the livelihood of poor families in Northern Ghana. He said the project aims at strengthening major stakeholders in the rice industry in Northern Ghana for increase crop production, processing and marketing. Mr Faalong said Agence Francaise de Development is sponsoring the project with a lifespan of five years. The 17.3 million- Euro project would span Northern Region, Upper East, Upper West and Volta regions. Mr Faalong said the meeting decided on which lowlands were suitable for rice production, taken into consideration the number of communities that cultivate rice on the land, accessibility of the lowland to small scale farmers, absence of conflict, and commitment of farmers to rice farming criteria. The Municipal Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Ambrose Buokanso Ansaayiri noted that Ghana produce about 30 per cent of the domestic rice requirement, compelling government to import the remaining 70 per cent to meet local requirements He said in the mist of abundant land there is no need for government to import rice. The Regional Crop Officer, Mr Ahmed Tijani said 2,500 hectares of low land are to be developed in Yendi Municipality, Nanumba North, Nanumba South, Karaga, Gusheigu, West Mamprusi and West Gonja districts in the Northern Region for rice cultivation. Mr Ahmed said 404 lowlands have been identified to be used for the project in the Yendi Municipality. The Chairman of the Zone Eleven Ghana Rice Inter Professional Body, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan Iddi has assured the government that rice farmers will produce enough and quality rice to feed the nation. He denied public perception that locally produced rice are unwholesome. Zone Eleven comprises Yendi Municipality, Nanumba North, Nanumba South, Zabzugu/Tatale, Saboba, Gusheigu and Chereponi districts.
Source: Ghana News Agency