Mr. Mohammed Adam Nashiru, President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, a civil society organization, who made the call, suggested to the authorities to increase tariff on imported rice, to create market for locally produced rice to increase the income of farmers to support the economy.
The leader of the Association was speaking at a meeting of rice farmers from the Tamale area, on Tuesday.
Mr. Nashiru said the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions (the three Northern Regions) last year produced 500,000 metric tones of rice and could meet the local demand for the staple.
He expressed worry that lack of interest and the political will by successive governments to support rice production had led to low production of the crop in the country.
Mr. Nashiru called on government to take positive steps to support farmers to increase yield to reduce the country’s high import bill on rice.
Mr. Roy Ayariga, National Programme Coordinator of the Northern Rural Growth Programme, advised rice and maize farmers in the three Northern regions to increase output since local and external demand for rice and maize was high.
He encouraged farmers in the Northern Region to engage in dry season farming to increase production.
The Single Mothers, operators of a restaurant in Bolgatanga, served local rice as lunch for the participants, to promote the consumption of the food in the country.