The Ashanti Regional Directorate of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has reiterated the commitment of the government to mechanized rice farming in order to help boost local production of the crop in the country.
The Regional Director Reverend John Manu, said the focus of the government in the MOFA/JICA TENSUI (Rain-fed) Phase II partnership project, was to help increase rice production, improve quality of local rice to increased domestic consumption and help reduce the importation of the crop into the country.
Rev. Manu was speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on rice production at Dadease in the Sekyere-Kumawu District.
The forum, which coincided with a field trip was to introduce the farmers to the JICA Rice Production method and the MOFA/JICA TENSUI rice project to farmers in the District.
Rev. Manu said as part of the process to change the face of rice production and processing in Ghana, government was facilitating the establishment of modern rice mills with requisite machines and equipment in some districts to enhance the quality and consumer preference of the local brand of rice.
Government was also training Agricultural Extension Assistants (AEAs) to provide technical services such as land development and water management, rice cultivation techniques, farm management and support system to rice farmers.
He urged the farmers to accept and apply good agronomic practices such as timely planting and transplanting, proper nursery bed preparation, timely fertilizer application, right drainage system, among others, in order to ensure increased production.
Mr. Samuel Addai Agyekum, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, commended the MOFA and JICA for the initiative, and said the District was ready to host and promote the project to help boost local rice production in the area, considering the vast arable of land and the suitable climatic condition for rice production.
Mrs. Yaa Pokuaa, the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the MOFA/JICA TENSUI Phase II partnership project, said the focus was to boost rice production in the twenty selected districts which had been sign onto the project in the Region.
She said through the project AEAs from the Ahafo-Ano North, Adansi South and North, Asante Akim North, Sekyere Central, Sekyere Kumawu, and others, were receiving training to support farmers in the use of the modern but simple and friendly technologies, which had been introduced to the farmers.