The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has supported the government with equipment to improve the production of rice in Ghana.
The equipment, including tractors and accessories, harvesters, and others, were handed over by KOICA to complement the government’s effort to improve the rice value chain in the country.
According to KOICA, the project to improve the rice production in the Central Region bears a great deal of significance in terms of food security in Ghana.
They say Ghana has so far not been able to meet the domestic demand for rice, making it highly reliant on rice imports.
In handing over the equipment to the government, Senior Deputy Country Director for KOICA, Seungmin Oh, noted that to help Ghana be self-sufficient in rice production, the government of the Republic of Korea has placed a high priority on advancing the agricultural sector in Ghana in cooperation with the Ghanaian government.
He says the project in the Central Region, with a grant budget of USD 8 million from the KOICA, is undoubtedly a tangible example of close cooperation between Korea and Ghana in the agricultural sector.
Statistics show that rice is the sixth most imported product in Ghana, recording more than 1 billion USD worth of imports from 2017 to 2020. KOICA believes this explains why Ghana was seen as vulnerable in the face of an unexpected food crisis back in 2011.
“Today, Ghana is facing even more challenges arising from the inflation in food prices due to the uncertainties surrounding global politics and economics,” he stated.
The Senior Deputy Country Director for KOICA said it is against this backdrop that achieving greater self-sufficiency in rice production with enhanced productivity has become one of the urgent national tasks for the Ghanaian government.
He added, “And it is for this reason that the Korean Government has come up with the project to support Ghana in increasing rice production through modernization and mechanization. This project is also, in a way, a significant and strategic investment for Ghana, given that it would help generate more jobs and income in the agricultural sector, which would not only enhance the lives of major beneficiaries such as the local farmers in the Region but also those engaged in activities in the broader value chain, including branding and marketing.”
Speaking on behalf of the Minister for Food and Agriculture at the handing over ceremony, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Robert Ankobea, noted that at the inception of the planting for food and jobs campaign in 2017, a total of 1,698 certified rice seeds complemented by fertilizers were distributed to rice farmers across the country.
This, he says, increased to 6,544 metric tonnes in 2019, 10,950 metric tonnes in 2020 and 14, 935 metric tonnes of certified seeds accompanied by fertilizers in 2021.
The Agriculture Ministry indicated this signals the government’s commitment to improving rice yields towards the attainment of self-sufficiency in rice production by 2024.
Ifeoma Charles Mowumba, Country Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), reiterated how the equipment would help boost rice production in the country.
She stated: “This equipment, you will agree with me, once deployed for use, will complement the government’s efforts to improve the rice value chain.” The project will not succeed without stakeholders working hand-in-hand to ensure smooth implementation. ”
The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) charged all beneficiaries of the project to make the best of the opportunity to improve rice production and help the country achieve its goal of self-sufficiency in rice by 2024.
The equipment handed over by KOICA includes two tractors and accessories and one mini combine harvester.
There was also one Laser land leveler, one seed drill/till seed planter, eighteen power tillers and accessories, and two transplanters.
The rest are ten rice threshers, ten rice reaper binder combine harvester, eighteen rice winnowers, thirty water pumps, 18grain, moisture meter, and sixteen Knapsack sprayer/ motorized mist blower.
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