The John A. Kufuor Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding with Alluvial Agricultural Limited and the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB) to provide support to about 50,000 rice farmers in the country.
As part of the agreement, Alluvial Ghana will provide mechanisation, as well as credit and input services to members of GRIB to help them expand on production.
Planting and harvesting services, as well as seed and agro-input supply will also be provided.
Chief Executive Officer of the John A. Kufuor Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah signed the agreement on behalf of the foundation.
Von Kemedi who is Chief Executive Officer of Alluvial Agricultural Limited signed on behalf of the company and Nana Adjei Ayeh who is president of the Ghana Rice Inter – Professional Body signed on behalf of GRIB.
The objective of the agreement is to provide easy and affordable access to the above listed services which are currently scarce and too costly for smallholder rice farmers to afford.
Talks with financial institutions to provide concessionary financing so farmers can procure agro-inputs and mechanization services are also ongoing.
The John A. Kufuor Foundation is expected to play a facilitating and coordinating role in ensuring that the parties to the agreement work towards the stated goals.
The initiative falls within the foundation’s socio-economic development goal which focuses on agriculture led growth and job creation.
In view of this, the foundation consistently seeks to build broad based partnerships with public and private institutions both locally and internationally to deliver needed socio-economic reforms.
This support for rice farmers is coming at a time when the industry is struggling with various challenges along the value chain, including low mechanization. According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana has a deficit of 27, 133 tractors.
The agreement will go a long way to alleviate the burden of rice farmers who are in dire need of these services to boost Ghana rice production, supply and consumption.
In keeping with modern agricultural trends, the introduction of the state-of-the-art mechanisation equipment will aid proper land preparation and planting protocols which will drastically improve yields.
Additionally, the mechanization services will reduce pre-harvest and post-harvest losses.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a major partner in this project.