Farmers introduced to new rice varieties

riceThrough the Rice Sector Support Project, farmers in four districts of the Upper West Region have been introduced to the cultivation of early maturing and high yielding varieties of rice.

The farmers have also been taught a new method of cultivating rice by bonding low lying fields to trap water, even with the least rain fall to support the growth and development of the grain.

The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), in collaboration with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and with funds from the French Development Agency, AFD.

The new rice project is being implemented in the Wa Municipality, Wa East, Wa West and the Sissala East districts.

About 100 farmers from four communities in the Wa West District attended a field day at Polee during at the weekend, during which findings from field trials of the three varieties were disseminated to them from a 71-acre field of the crop.

The farmers observed the technology that was applied in the cultivation of the three varieties of rice developed by SARI, namely ‘Ebaika’, ‘Was122’ and ‘Was163’ in order to choose their preference.

Most of the farmers chose the “Ebaika” variety for cultivation because it matures within 100 days with high yield compared to the other two.

Mr. Huudu Abu, Upper West Regional Crops Officer of MOFA said the three new varieties were far better than what the farmers had been cultivating over the years.

He said apart from the high yield that would be reaped by the farmers, the new varieties also took 100-105 days to mature unlike the old variety which often took 120 days to mature.

Mr. Saaka Iddrisu, Assembly man for Polee Electoral Area who spoke on behalf of the farmers, said they were impressed with what they had seen on the field.

“For us any new technology that will increase our farm produce and give us all-year-round food security is welcome”, he said.

Source: GNA

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