Small Actions For Enterprise (SAFE Ghana), a Ho-based non-governmental organization is empowering farmers in the Volta Region to increase rice production in the region to 60,000 hectares by 2020.
The rise would extend the region’s lead in rice production in the country and ensure food security.
At a business forum organised by SAFE Ghana with support from USAID in Ho, its Team Leader, Mr Patrick Avumegah, said research showed that the region had the potential to grow rice to feed the country and was hopeful in five years, “rice will be Volta Region’s cocoa.”
He said his outfit had identified ready markets for the cereal and challenged young people in the region to consider going into rice farming, promising technical support from SAFE Ghana.
Mr Avumegah said though the region had competitive advantage over other regions in other crops, rice production would open the door to the region's rapid socio-economic development.
Mr Frank Mattah, who represented the Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, Volta Region, said the region was cultivating only 10,000 hectares out of its 53,717 hectare capacity which implied that farmers in the region were currently performing below capacity.
He expressed the hope that with support from stakeholders the region could cultivate all valleys to meet the high demand for its quality “jasmine85 rice.”
Mr Mattah said the prospects were huge and challenged farmers in the region to specialise in rice production.
Mr Festus Kwadzokpo, USAID Agriculture Support Project Coordinator said many countries had moved up through agriculture and challenged Ghana to invest more in the sector.
Farmers at the forum called on the relevant authorities to make available quality seeds to enable them to increase their yield.
Last year, the region produced 190,450 metric tonnes of rice.
Ghana is said to spend around 400 million dollars on the importation of rice annually.
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