Upper East farmers cultivating 1,700 hectares of rice
Farmers in the Upper East Region in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Tono Irrigation Programme are cultivating 1,700 hectares of rice.
The fields that are expected to yield about 7,000 tonnes of the crop this year, have been ploughed and some cultivated but other portions are too wet for the broadcasting of rice due to recent heavy rains in the area.
Alhaji Issah Bukari, Managing Director of the Irrigation Company of Upper East Region (ICOUR), made these known when he and Alhaji Abdul Razaq Ziblim, Acting Regional Director of MOFA, took Mr. Mark Woyongo, Regional Minister, round the farms at the Kassena Nankana District and the Fumbisi Valley in the Builsa District on Tuesday.
Alhaji Bukari indicated that there were enough fertilizers and other farm inputs for the project but said combine harvesters would arrive soon for reaping rice in the next three months.
He gave the assurance that the Tono Programme would irrigate the fields in the event of any draught.
At Fumbisi Valley, where MOFA was assisting the farmers, Alhaji Ziblim said that the ministry had ploughed 700 hectares of land for 115 groups and farmers would be provided with seeds, fertilizer and other inputs.
He said they would repay expenses incurred, after harvesting their rice, which they were encouraged but not obliged to sell to the ministry.
Mr. Woyongo urged the farmers to co-operate with MOFA and Tono Programme to ensure maximum yield.
He said the country’s rice import could be stopped or minimised in the next two years if the farmers put more lands under rice production.
Mr. Woyongo urged agriculture personnel in the region to support farmers in the cultivation, harvesting and processing of rice.
He advised the farmers to sell their produce to MOFA and not to smuggle it to neighbouring countries.
The farmers appealed to MOFA to support them to put more large tracts of land under rice cultivation.