The Crop Research Institute (CRI) has released three locally bred rice varieties, the first in Ghana, to farmers at the Kadjebi in the Volta Region.
Rice breeder, Dr. Kofi Dartey, said the breeding project lasted over three years and involved over 100 different varieties.
He said the grains are long and taste just like the imported ones and also less starchy and very tender when cooked.
Dr. Dartey said they were highly resistant to pest and advised people to patronise them when they are released unto the market.
The varieties would be tested on 40 farmers’ fields and are upland varieties, making them possible to be grown among cassava and other crops.
Kadjebi was chosen to test the verities because of its closeness to the Wurawura Rice Mill Limited which has the modern technology to mill and grade rice.
The Chief Research Director, Dr. Stella Annin said the project is the KAFACCI NIS phase two and if successful, would reduce and eventually end the 600 million Dollars spent yearly on importing rice.
The KAFACCI (Korea- Africa Food and Agriculture Corporation Initiative) program would end in July 2019, and Dr. Annin was hopeful the varieties would be widely accepted by then.
According to her, Wurawura Rice Mill must acquire the licence for the varieties and market them to the farmers because the new breeds meet international standards.
A power tiller was procured for the project and the District Chief Executive of Kadjebi, Mr Maxwell Asiedu promised to set up a rice mill in the area if the people worked hard on the project.