The distribution of AGRA-certified improved rice seed to about 514 farmers in the central region has started under the Rice Value Chain Improvement (RVCI) project.
This was after the Department of Food and Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Branch certified that the seeds had a germination rate of over 90%.
About eight tons of well-researched AGRA rice seed, planted under strict agronomic practices, is being distributed to rice farmers in Assin North, Assin Fosu, Assin South, Twifo Atti Mokwa and Gomoa East districts.
The approximately 514 farmers from eight farmer organizations in nine communities in the five beneficiary districts will start planting the rice seeds in March and April this year.
The RVCI project was launched with the aim of reducing the country’s rice importation through increased yields and aims to supply a total of 48 tons of improved AGRA seeds to rice farmers in the central region.
The RVCI project aims to make Ghana a major rice producer, by restructuring and producing high quality seeds for planting, ensuring efficient agricultural management systems, while adopting advanced technology for rice processing .
The project is funded by the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), with the main objective of improving the quality of life of farmers in the region through increased rice production, strengthening post-harvest management capacities, improvement of rice processing and packaging and capacity building of farmers’ organizations and marketing support.
The project will also improve the value chain and rice marketing and branding techniques, in order to revolutionize rice production in the central region first and in the country in general.
Launched in June 2021, RVCI’s already experimental farms proved to farmers that they should expect significantly high yields.
At a seed handover ceremony to some beneficiary districts in Cape Coast recently, the Central Regional Director of Agriculture, Dr Peter Omega, said the seed distribution was a further assurance of the commitment of all stakeholders to achieve project objectives. Goals.
Dr Omega said measures are being put in place to ensure that after the implementation of the project in 2023, the planting of high quality rice seed will be fully expanded to involve all rice farmers, including those in the Planter program. for food and employment, to maximize impact and yields.
“This project should help us understand the improved production techniques of our Korean partners and do more by at least producing the rice we consume,” he said.
He said AGRA rice was very nutritious, adding that MOFAD would work with relevant agencies to ensure that markets, schools and other institutions and individuals were all growing Ghanaian rice.
The Central Regional Plant Protection Officer, Mr. Benjamin Yaw Ayim, observed that the seeds went through a rigorous process, adding that the certification was done with germination and purity tests. He said he hoped the seeds would have a positive impact on rice production in the region.
The Central Regional Extension Officer, Mrs. Sophia Afful, said her team was fully engaged in monitoring the various farms, especially under the project, to ensure efficiency from sowing to weeding and soil management. management, disease control and harvesting, all under improved agronomic practices.
The director in charge of the project, Mr. Hubert Dela Fiawoo, said that all stakeholders have played an important role in bringing the project to its current level.
He said he was optimistic that with the right support, farmers would increase yields and incomes and also impact the fortunes of the country’s rice production.
The project manager, Mr. Kim Sang-Yeol, said in an interview with commitment to the project, that Ghana should be able to have sufficient rice production to help reduce imports.
The Municipal Director of Agriculture of Assin Fosu, Mr. Francis Kwame Freeman, said the aim of the project was laudable and expressed hope that it would soon be extended to other farmers in the rice-growing communities.