Business News of Friday, 27 February 2015
The Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) is seeking investors to invest in rice production on the 10,000 hectare arable land at the Nasia-Nabongo Valley in the Northern Region.
Potential investors who wish to cultivate rice within the GCAP demarcated area in the Nasia-Nabongo Valley would be supported through a competitive matching grant scheme based on a set of eligibility criteria.
Mr Henry Alabi Bortey, Project Co-ordinator of the GCAP, who announced this on Thursday at the GCAP investor conference in Tamale, said GCAP was helping to transform the agriculture sector into a vibrant commercial entity with the private sector playing a lead role.
The investor conference, organised by the GCAP, was meant to introduce to participants the Nasia-Nabongo Valley rain-fed rice production and opportunities available to whet investor interest in the project.
The Government of Ghana secured $100 million credit from the World Bank and a grant of $45 million from the USAID to implement the GCAP projects mainly in the Accra Plains and the SADA zones for crop production scheduled to be implemented over a five-year period.
Mr Bortey said a Technical Committee of the project comprising the key implementing institutions had been established to facilitate the implementation of project activities.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister, said Ghana spent over $45 million annually on rice importation to augment local demand and that government was able to reduce the importation by 30 per cent through some policies and interventions.
He said in spite of the efforts made in local rice production, the cost of production remained high and uncompetitive in the domestic market due to relatively cheaper imported rice.
Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru said for the country to be competitive in rice production there was the need for supplementary irrigation during the dry season and gave the assurance that Government would continue to create the enabling environment for improvement in agriculture.
Mr Fifi Kwetey, Minister of Food and Agriculture, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Ministry was fully behind the project and that everything would be done to ensure its successful implementation.