Rice production increases in Northern Ghana

By Albert Futukpor, GNA

Botanga (N/R), Nov. 16, GNA – Testimonies of
some rice farmers in the Northern Region indicates that there has been a
tremendous increase in local rice production.

Since 2018, Mr Joseph Ton-Kurubil, a rice
farmer at Botanga in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region, increased
his rice field from two to four acres and his yields also increased from about
15 bags (100kg) per acre to 50 bags (100kg) per acre.

He has attributed the situation to adoption
of best agronomic practices such as planting and harvesting on time including;
use of certified improved rice seeds, and fertilizer to ensure production of
quality rice.

Mr Ton-Kurubil is not the only farmer
recording success in rice production in the area as a host of other rice
farmers in the area and also attested to the fact that they doubled their rice
fields while yields have also more than tripled leading to increased incomes.

This formed part of testimonies of farmers
at Botanga, and Nasia when a delegation comprising officials from the Alliance
for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the German Government visited their
rice fields to assess their operations.

The delegation also visited a local parboil
rice processing centre in Tamale and AVNASH Rice Mills at Nyankpala to assess
their off-taking operations on the rice produced by the farmers. 

The farmers benefited from the Public
Private Partnership for Competitive and Inclusive Rice Value Chain in Ghana
project being implemented by AGRA with funding from the German Federal Ministry
for Economic Cooperation and Development Special Initiative “One World-No
Hunger” to increase rice productivity for smallholder farmers in the country.

The project, which began in 2018, seeks to
deploy both short term and medium-long term solutions to enable the government
achieve its sub-sector goal of becoming self-sufficient in rice production and
improve livelihoods of 128,763 farmers by 2020.

It also seeks to strengthen and expand
access to output markets and increase capacity of smallholder farm households
and agricultural systems to better prepare for and adapt to shocks and stress.

As the project begun to record some
successes, the beneficiary farmers also identified some challenges, key among
them as limited access to combined harvesters to harvest on time and no formal
standardised measuring system pegged at a price for purchasing rice from the

Mr Ton-Kuburil appealed for a formal
aggregator and a standardised measurement scale peg for price for which rice
should be sold to aggregators to avoid the situation, where some aggregators
continued to cheat farmers by loading in large sacks for low prices.

Mr Bashiru Musah Dokurugu, Interim Country
Manager of AGRA, said Ghana Rice was of high quality and urged the citizens to
consume it for improved nutrition and quality health.

Mr Roland Addo, a Representative of the
Directorate of Crop Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, advised
the farmers to take advantage of the government’s subsidised scheme to acquire
equipment such as combined harvesters to harvest their rice on time and at
reduced cost.