Rice production goes up in Atwima-Mponua

GM riceThere has been significant increase in per-hectare yield of rice farms in the Atwima-Mponua District following the introduction of improved technologies.

Farmers now produce an average of 2.9 tons per- hectare of rain-fed lowland cropped, compared with the 1.2 tons they were previously getting.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under a joint technical cooperation initiative have been helping farmers in the area to use modern production technologies and simple tools to boost local rice yield.

Mr. Yoshino Minoru, a representative of JICA, said the goal was to help improve food security and the livelihood of farmers.

Other districts in Ashanti benefitting from the five-year project include Asante-Akim North and Central, Ahafo-Ano North and the Adansi South.

Speaking at meeting with rice producers, millers, processors, sellers, officers of the agriculture ministry and assembly members at Nyinahin, he said the project which was started with only two communities in the district – Kensakrom and Mpasatia, had now been extended to 42 other communities, bringing in about 4,000 farmers.

He noted that rice had become a major staple crop in the country due to the changing preference of taste of consumers from households to social and official functions.

He appealed to farmers to continue to adopt best cropping practices and to take advantage of the technical expertise of agricultural extension agents to raise production levels.

Mr. Stephen Yeboah, the District Chief Executive (DCE), said the government would support farmers to better their lives and appealed to the youth to take to farming because the returns were attractive.

Mr. William Osei, the District Director of MOFA, called for effective working relationship between the extension agents and farmers to boost food production.

Food bazaar – displaying various uses of rice as well as simple tools for rice cultivation were put on public show during the meeting.

Source: GNA

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