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Business News Fri, 4 Dec 2015

Farmers benefit from seed scaling project

The AfricaRice in collaboration with the Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) have trained some rice farmers in the Golinga Irrigation Scheme to produce certified seeds for improved cultivation of rice in the upcoming major season.

The move, under the Rice Seed Scaling Project (RSSP), funded by the USAID seeks to improve seed planning and connect actors along the rice seed value chain, strengthen capacity of rice seed value chain actors, facilitate access to adapted equipment from seed production to conditioning and storage. The measure is also to encourage the use of certified and quality declared seed by rice farmers to increase rice production to improve their living standards.

Dr Boubakary Cisse, Rice Seed Expert & project Coordinator who toured the rice fields with some media practitioners, expressed satisfaction about the way the farmers had embraced and adopted the use of certified seeds in the area.

He said the objective of the Rice Seed Scaling Project (RSSP), funded by the USAID was being implemented as a Technical Assistance by AfricaRice, was meant to stimulate the development of a sustainable rice seed system in Northern Ghana, in particular in the Feed the Future (FtF) ‘Zones of Interest’ in the Northern and Upper East Regions.

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He said other objectives of the project included improved seed planning and connecting actors along the rice seed value chain, strengthening capacity of rice seed value chain actors, facilitate access to adapted equipment from seed production to conditioning and storage.

Dr Cisse mentioned the Ministry of food and Agriculture (MoFA), Private Seed Companies and Seed Producers’ groups, Input dealers, Private Extension Company and the Rice Innovation Platforms in the two regions as major partners in the project. He said there were other four private Seed Companies involved in the project, which are: Rural Innovation Consults, Ariku Seeds Ltd., Lexbok Seed Enterprise Ltd. and Heritage Seeds Company Limited among other partners.

The project was launched in April 2015 and among other activities, 75 demonstrations aimed to expose expose rice seed producers to the techniques of the production of good quality seen and to promote the use of good quality seed by paddy producers were established throughout the two regions including Golinga village

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is an association of 25 member-states and one of the 15 international Centers supported by the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) and its mission is to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa, through research, development and partnership activities aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the rice sector in ways that ensure the sustainability of the farming environment.

Source: GNA
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