Rice is the staple food of the most of the world’s population and provide livelihood ways to half of the population.
After maize,rice is the second most important staple food in the Ahafo Ano North District of Ashanti and Ghana.The rate of consumption of rice keeps on increasing as the population increases,on various ceremonial events or depending on the consumer habits.
Rice sector is one in which the competition for the rice importation has forced the local farmers out of the buisness.
According to National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS 2009) about 80% rice is grown under low land areas by the local farmers which cannot fulfill the rice requirement for the the public.
Hence with the view point of saving the foreign currency and food security bill there is a need to strengthen domestic rice production and distribution system of the cereal with market competitiveness.
For this the Ghana government has asked the Japanese government to set a frame set for the Ghana so that it can boost the local rice farmers.For the same the Japanese government has planned an integrated Development Programme which is composed of plural development based on three categorized
- Rice farming systems,
- Irrigated rice,
- Semi-intensive rain-fed rice and lowland rain-fed rice and upland rice
For this a project called “Sustainable Development of Rain-fed Lowland Rice Production in Ghana” was implemented with a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in nine districts of Ghana of which Ahafo Ano North is a beneficiary.
The project aims at boosting the productivity and profitability of rice in rain fed lowland areas with the application of advance technologies.The project involves the planting of rice in rows, the use of salt, egg and water to separate good paddy rice from bad ones before nursing them as well as proper farm management to impact positively on poverty reduction by supporting rice farmers.
The project has achieved achievements since 2009 in which it was started in the Ahafo Ano North District. The project which started with 46 farmers and 2 communities has now recorded an increase of 308 and 41 respectively.Irrespective of the achievements the project is also suffering from many challenges like quality of the rice and land acquisition. .
For making the project more successful ways ahead are follows like producing their own seeds to make the project known at national level.