NEWS ARCHIVE 2010 - 14

E GONJA:Farmers hail JICA Rice Project

Farmers in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region have hailed the sustainable development of rain-fed production project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) being implemented in the area.


Date Created : 11/5/2013 8:30:12 AM : Story Author : GhanaDistrict.Com

Farmers in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region have hailed the sustainable development of rain-fed production project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) being implemented in the area.

In all, 22 groups from 22 communities in the District are part of the project, which started in 2009 with the aim of increasing rice yield and quality.

Alhaji Amidu Mahamah, a 50-year-old farmer and father of 16 children, told the GNA in an interview on the sidelines of a farmers’ field day held in Salaga that through the project he had harvested 28 bags of paddy rice from a one-acre land.

He said the achievement would spur him on to increase the acreage during the next farming season, and encouraged other farmers to adhere to the best practices and techniques the project had to offer.

“Before ,the project, I farmed 10 acres and I harvested 30 bags but now I know that if I cultivate two acres and follow the best practices  such as using certified seeds, weed control and fertilizer application, I can harvest 50 bags”, he said.

Mr Ahmed Tijani, Schedule Officer of the Sustainable Development of Rain-fed Production project said the initiative had many components including a farming support system, which links farmers to credit, fertilizer and other value chain actors to liaise effectively for positive results.

Mr Tijani said the project had educated and introduced farmers to various techniques and that farmers’ adoption had been impressive, adding that the impact would be greater if farmers sustained the efforts.

He said the project, which has a one-year life-span, had developed rice extension plans in the target districts in close collaboration with District Assemblies, putting emphasis on farmers for technology exchange and improving services.

Mohammed Aminu Lukumanu, District Chief Executive (DCE) of East Gonja, said rice had become a major food security crop in Ghana.

He said it was regrettable that the country’s rice production levels declined in the 1980s compelling successive Governments to increase the importation of rice.

Mr Lukumanu said rice harvesting remained a challenge in the area due to its labour-intensive nature and called on development partners to support the District with combine harvesters to encourage farmers to produce more rice.

Mr Shota Katafuchi, a rice expert at JICA advised farmers to work hard to sustain the project and boost rice production in the Region.

 “This is a good opportunity for farmers to learn and implement the knowledge gained to increase rice yield and quality to improve the living standards of the people,” he added.

GNA