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Rice production in Ghana to get major boost

Rice Paddy Production12121 Between 2008 and 2020, paddy rice production was in the range of 302,000 MT and 987,000

Sat, 26 Feb 2022 Source: business24.com.gh

Rice production in Ghana is to get a boost with the intervention of a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Technical Assistance Project contributing to the achievement of sustainable and higher inclusive value creation.

The project will strengthen the competencies of the value chain in order to catalyze the use of modern technologies, realise higher value creation and comply with market requirements.

Mr Frakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO’s Representative to Ghana, said the US$3.6million project would build the capacity of value-chain actors, mainly farmers, agro-traders, crop processors and public support institutions by way of a range of activities focusing on quality assurance, increased productivity and business competitiveness as well as the supply of equipment.

The project is dubbed: “Promoting technological upgrade and quality assurance system to achieve higher value addition in the post-harvest processes of rice value chain.”

He said the three-year project would commence this year and would be focused in the Northern and Ashanti Regions with funding from the Japanese government with UNIDO implementing jointly with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

He said was to contribute to the food security challenges in the country as well as the overall national agenda and to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Mockizukihi Hisanobu, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, said last year, the Government of Japan and UNIDO joined hands to implement ten UNIDO projects across ten countries, including Ghana, to mitigate the severe and long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that Japan considers capacity development as central to the socioeconomic development of any country and “we have confidence in the ability of technology to provide substantial benefit in agriculture.”

The ambassador said the experience Japan had gathered over the years in the areas of capacity development has been very useful in their own success story.

“Therefore, when we build the capacity of farmers to improve the quality of a high market value crop like rice, the impact can be transformative and open opportunities for smallholder farmers,” he added.

He said the project was important from the viewpoint of their commitment to promoting the concept of human security, which was a key development cooperation objective of Japan’s Official Development Assistance.

Mr Yaw Frimpong Addo, the Deputy Minister in Charge of Crop at the Ministry, said rice was an important strategic crop in the economy of Ghana, which was cultivated as both food and cash crop. He said rice consumption continued to increase due to population growth, urbanization and change in consumer habits.

Between 2008 and 2020, paddy rice production was in the range of 302,000 MT and 987,000 MT (181,000 to 622,000 MT of milled rice) with large annual fluctuations.

He said the total rice consumption in 2020 amounted to about 1,450,000 MT, which was equivalent to per capita consumption of about 45.0kg per annum.

The minister said the country depended largely on imported rice to make up for the deficit in domestic rice supply, and its rice self-sufficiency ratio declined from 38 percent in 1999 to 24 percent in 2006 and increased to about 43 percent in 2020.

Source: business24.com.gh