The Yendi Municipal Chief Executive has reminded the people of Northern Region that food security through increased rice production would immensely reduce hunger and poverty, which had fueled some of the violent conflicts in the area.
Mr Issah Zakaria gave the made the reminder during a community sensitisation programme on the Rice Sector Support Project (RSSP) at Pion in the Yendi Municipality.
He said the project was being implemented in 11 Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts in the country.
Mr Zakaria called on the people in the area to eschew all divisive tendencies and support the project to succeed, adding that rice had time immemorial been a major traditional crop that had been cultivated in the Region.
He said the natural environment of the Region was conducive for the cultivation of the crop and did not come as a surprise that Government saw the need to revitalise the sector that in the past had provided great economic fortunes for the local people and employment for many Ghanaians.
He appealed to the chiefs to spearhead social mobilization activities at the community level and also provide land for the people to benefit from the project.
Mr Alhasan Mohammed Adam, Executive Director of Grameen Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) supporting the project implementation said the RSSP was an initiative of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to increase production, processing and marketing of rice.
He said as part of the implementation of the NGO and RSSP was organising series of sensitisation programmes in the beneficiary communities of Pion, Cherifoyili, Mabido, Talani in the Municipality.
Mr Adam said the project had strategically brought together various stakeholders including Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, University of Development Studies, Grameen Ghana and Non-Formal Education Division of Ghana Education Service to facilitate its implementation.
Mr Alhassan said other beneficiaries in the Region included Tamale Metropolis, East Gonja, Central Gonja, and Nanumba North and Nanumba South Districts.
He said the core objective of the project was to improve the livelihood of poor farmers in the targeted regions.
The Municipal Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Ambrose Ansaayiri said the RSSP was a four- year project funded by the French Government and Government of Ghana and was expected to end in 2013.
Mr Ansaayiri said Government would provide the beneficiary farmers with fertiliser, plough their field, supply them with agro-chemicals and combine harvesters.