Ghana: Rice Farmers Advocate Cultivation of New Varieties

Dawhenya — Rice farmer groups in the Greater Accra and Volta regions are advocating the cultivation of new varieties of rice to enable access to improved rice seeds.

The rice farmer groups are the Dawhenya Rice Irrigation project, Kpong Irrigation Scheme, Aveyime Rice project and Ashaiman rice irrigation project.

The call by the groups followed the development of 12 rice varieties including Jasmine-85, CRI-Enapa, CRI-Dartey, CRI-Amankwatia, CRI-Agyapa, CRI-Korea Mo, Legon-1, CRI-Onuapa, CRI-AgraRice, CRI-Kantinka, ISRIZ-6 and ISRIZ-7 by the Crop Research Institute of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with the Korea Programme for International Cooperation in Agricultural Technology (KOPIA).

Representatives of the groups made the call during a tour of the demonstration fields for the 12 new rice varieties at Dawhenya near Tema.

Richard Martey Adler, Chairman of Dawhenya Local Rice Farmers, said the new varieties could help to make a hub for rice production due to its unique characteristics that ensured high yield and grain quality.

Citing CRI-Agyapa as a key example, he noted that, the new varieties had effective resistance to diseases, and provided the kind of grain quality to meet the preference of Ghanaian consumers.

As a country aiming to significantly reduce rice importation, he stated that, the new varieties were critical in ensuring Ghana achieves rice sufficiency within the next five years.

Joseph Kofi Akpafu, Executive Member of Water Users Association which operate at the Kpong Irrigation Scheme, said the new varieties were a relief to rice farmers who were burdened with accessing varieties of improved rice seeds.