March 14, 2013
Two consecutive events for Project for Sustainable Development of Rain-fed Lowland Rice Production involving stakeholders from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, JICA, District Assemblies, traditional leaders, beneficiaries (target farmers) and others were held on 14th March, 2013 in both the Ashanti and Northern regions to disseminate the milestone achieved by the Project.
Rice has become a major food security and staple crop in Ghana due to the changing preference of taste of consumers from households to social and official functions. According to the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS, 2009), nearly 80% of local rice is produced under lowland conditions by small scale rice farmers in Ghana. The Project for Sustainable Development of Rain-fed Lowland Rice Production (the Project) was initiated in July 2009 as a technical cooperation to Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MOFA) by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the period of 5 years (2009-2014) in order to promote local rice production under the rain-fed lowland condition and improve economic condition of small-scale rice farmers in both Ashanti and Northern regions.
The Sustainable Development of Rain-fed Lowland Rice Production Project, a joint collaboration of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has helped improved quality and quantity of rice yields in the Ashanti and Northern regions of Ghana. Quantitative indicators to assess the project output reveal that more than 4.0 ton/ha in Ashanti and 3.0 ton/ha in Northern region have been achieved.
The Project started with 13 plots of cultivation and has been currently extended to 146 plots, contributing to the development of the rice production extension plans in target districts and regions.
Apart from the improved quantity and quality of domestic rice production achieved by the project, farmers within the areas have learnt new rice cultivation practices, adoptable rice farming tool, marketing and packaging skills, enhanced farming capacity (some farmers have been able to procure rice miller, power tiller and generators) and all these have inured to an enhanced and improved livelihood for them.