As per local sources, the Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has urged the farmers to step up efforts to achieve 100% self- sufficiency of rice production. Speaking at the National Rice Development Strategy (NRSD) validation workshop, it was informed that currently, the country is 56% self -sufficient in rice production. The NRSD was formulated in 2009 by the MOFA in collaboration with the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) and same was revised in 2015.
Further, it was informed that the new NRSD aims to increase the rice production by 20% annually and to attain 100% self-sufficiency by 2018. It aims at addressing the challenges of low production; particularly enhancing the rice value chain in the country. It will also focus on seed system, fertilizer marketing and distribution system, harvesting access and maintenance system. In addition, it will also look into research and technology dissemination, community mobilization, farmer based organization and credit management, as well as monitoring and evaluation systems.
In this context, furthermore the Minister observed that several organizations such as USAID, World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), The Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) and CARD are supporting the country’s NRSD. It was told that the government is expecting more technical and financial support from the organizations to achieve the target.
At this occasion, the official from the Crop Services Directorate revealed that the Ghana’s rice production (milled basis) increased about 77% from around 235,000 tons in 2009 to around 417,000 tons in 2014. However, the paddy acreage increased by only 38% only during the same period. But, the consumption has increased from around 542,000 tons in 2009 to around 748,000 tons in 2014. As per reports it was also indicated that the country’s imports increased about 8% from around 384,000 tons in 2009 to around 414,000 tons in 2014.