Ghana needs more irrigation dams to boost rice production – Awuni
This he said would not only increase rice production and ensure food security, but also discourage and reduce the importation of the product.
“Most farmers in the country depend on rain for their production and the construction of irrigation dams will engage them all year round to maximise profits and reduce the rate of unemployment.”
Mr Awuni made the appeal when members of the Hohoe Municipal Rice Farmers Union visited the warehouse of “The Rice Master”, a subsidiary of Finatrade.
He said rice had become the unofficial staple of the country and therefore needed special attention to meet the demands of consumers throughout the year.
“A higher percentage of the rice we eat is imported and if rice production in the country increases, it will also reduce the importation and I urge all of you to step up your production levels.”
Mr Awuni said although government had constructed a number of dams to boost food production over the years, they are woefully inadequate.
The Corporate Affairs Director also appealed to government to tighten the exit and entry points of the country as a way of checking the influx of smuggled rice into the country.
Dr Ben Dadzie, Senior Agronomist at Value Chain Specialists, a technical advisory organisation to rice farmers said the Hohoe rice farmers union now has a membership of 804 and cultivating a total of 3,975 acres of land.
He said apart from the practical training that they provide the farmers, they also hold periodic orientation for them to raise their production levels.
Dr Dadzie commended Finatrade for offering ready market for their products.
“We are very sure that in the few years to come, local rice production will increase to reduce the importation which is expensive and less nutritious than our rice.” He added.