The Northern Regional Minister has given the assurance that government was ready to support the introduction of a new rice variety and its cultivation in the Northern Region for export.

Salifu Saeed said government was also ready to provide the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences from China the necessary requirement such as land, and water bodies to help in the effective conduct of the new rice variety in the region.

Mr Saeed gave the assurance when the management of the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, a Chinese investment group working in the area of agriculture paid a courtesy call on him to announce their presence and mission in the region.

The aim was also to consolidate the relationship between the governments of Ghana and China and to discuss the role up plans of the memorandum of understanding that was signed between the two countries last year.

He said the government was willing to strengthen the relationship between China and Ghana which would help in value addition to the country’s products especially rice.

According to him, one of the major policies of the government was to use agriculture as a tool to create jobs for the unemployed especially the youth in the country.

Mr Saeed encouraged farmers to engage in irrigation farming, which would assist them in the production of crops throughout the year.

He expressed remorse on the damage that the opening of the Bagri dam in Burkina Faso causes farm crops in the region and appealed to the government to develop strategies on how to tap the water from the spillage for irrigation.

The Minister appealed to Chiefs and Traditional leaders in the region to support the government and the Chinese investors in the cultivation of the new rice variety since agriculture had been the major occupation of the people.

The Director of Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences from China, Yanbo Ma, said the cultivation of the new rice variety could also be used to produce both alcohol and non-alcohol beverages.

He indicated that the new rice variety could also be used to produce cooking oil for consumers in the country and for export.