German government injects €10 million into rice production in Ghana

Agric Minister Owusu Afiyie Akoto Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto with stakeholders at the launch of the

Fri, 30 Nov 2018 Source: thefinderonline.com

The German government has funded a €10 million commercial rice project for Ghana to benefit a total of 200,000 Ghanaian farmers.

The project, dubbed ‘Ghana Rice Initiative’ would support farmers from five regions namely Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Central and Northern regions due to be targeted under the three years’ project.

The project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, Intervalle, GRIB, and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

It is also under the partnership for Inclusive Agriculture Transformation for Africa, which is also being implemented in Burkina Faso with AGRA providing the technical support.

They are to be provided with certified seeds at a subsidized price, technical and infrastructural support to boost the production of rice.

Speaking at the launch in Accra, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, commended the implementing partners and the German Government for taking the bold step to initiate such a project in Ghana, saying it fits well with the Government Planting for Food and Job program.

He said the local production and value addition of rice was critical to save Ghana from spending huge sums of monies annually on the importation of rice.

According to him, it was scaring that Ghana on an annual basis was importing $1 billion worth of rice when in actual fact the country has the potential to produce the crop locally and feed its people.

The potential of rice production in the Volta Region and other parts of the country like the Central Region are enormous, he said, and thus encouraged local production of the crop instead of the huge importations.

He noted that gone are the days when rice “It was a mournful crop now it has become the kid on the block to the great disadvantage of the country.”

Aside the huge recorded importations, he said stated about 600,000 metric tonnes of rice were being imported into illegally on an annual basis from Cote d’ Ivoire.

He stated that the discovery of the illegal import of rice to such a magnitude from Cote d’Ivoire was discovered recently when he visited that country, saying the rice was being brought into Ghana through the Western borders.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, said the people of Germany and their government were happy to be financing the project.

President of AGRA, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, noted that the partnership among the private sector will bring about visibility and transparency in the rice industry in Africa.

She urged that private players in the sector should collaborate more support smallholder farmers on the continent.

Source: thefinderonline.com
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