Global consumption of rice has seen a slight increase over the last several years.
In the 2018/2019 crop year, about 490.27 million metric tons of rice was consumed worldwide, up from 437.18 million metric tons in the 2008/2009 crop year.
In Ghana’s jurisdiction, 66% of rice consumed is imported and $400 million to $500 dollars is expensed on rice imports annually. Then again, Ghana imports 680,000 metric tons of rice annually.
Agricultural Manufacturing Group’s (AMG) quest to complement the Ministry of Agriculture’s plans to reduce the importation of rice by at least 50 percent this year led to the organisation of a robust rice training program in the Upper West Region.
The training program took place in Kokoligu, Gengenkpe, Tuopari, Karni, Piina and Tapiimo.
Henry Otoo-Mensah, General Manager of Agricultural Manufacturing Ghana had the following to say during an interview.
“We are fulfilling our objectives which is keenly in tandem with that of Ministry of Food and Agriculture. One of our crucial objectives lies in building the capacity of the average Ghanaian farmer through knowledge sharing and extension service. This will equip them to better apply our inputs for higher and sustainable yield”
“MOFA wants to reduce the importation of rice by at least 50 percent this year. We believe in that objective and it is possible with the Chiefs, farmers and extension officers on board. This all-important rice training program will earnestly prepare us in that national direction” Mr. Henry Otoo-Mensah contended in the interview.
The Rice Training Program (RTP) was done in collaboration with MOFA extension officers, Inputs distributors and AMG fertiliser partners from ROSIER. Relevant stakeholders such as community chiefs and farmers graced the training program.
The theme of the program was to educate farmers on how to increase their crop yield through appropriate fertiliser application. Farmers were also shown demonstrations from planting of hybrid seed rice, maize and Sorghum to the application of granular and foliar fertilisers. Over 500 stakeholders and farmers were part of the massive training program.
According to Henry Otoo-Mensah, AMG General Manager, the rice training program will only enlighten farmers in the light of fertiliser application and good seed usage geared towards increasing crop yield per acre. He further reiterated that; AMG are committed to the Minister’s objective of halving the importation of rice in the country.
“Approximately, the average yield of rice and maize crop per acre in Kokoligu, Gengenkpe, Tuopari, Karni, Piina and Tapiimo is 3bags (300kg) per acre. More importantly, we believe our training program will assist farmers to attain an average of 12 bags per acre of cultivated land, which is in line with MOFA’s objective”
AMD also took the opportunity to educate farmers on profitable maize cultivation and fertilizer application thereof. Farmers were further enlightened on how to access the planting for food and jobs crop seeds and fertilisers as well as the necessary modalities in their line of operations.