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Northern rice farmers benefit from rice seed project

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RiceThe AfricaRice and the Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) have trained some rice farmers under the Golinga Irrigation Scheme in the Northern Region, to produce certified seeds for improved cultivation of rice in the upcoming major season.

The move, under the Rice Seed Scaling Project (RSSP) funded by USAID, seeks to improve seed planning and connect actors along the rice seed value chain, strengthen capacity of rice seed value chain actors, and facilitate access to adapted equipment from seed production to conditioning and storage.

The measure is also to encourage the use of certified and quality declared seeds by rice farmers to increase rice production and improve their living standards.

Dr Boubakary Cisse, Rice Seed Expert & project Coordinator who toured the rice fields with some media practitioners, expressed satisfaction about the way the farmers had embraced and adopted the use of certified seeds in the area.

He said the objective of the Rice Seed Scaling Project (RSSP) being implemented with the Technical Assistance of AfricaRice, was meant to stimulate the development of a sustainable rice seed system in Northern Ghana, in particular, the Feed the Future (FtF) Zones of Interest in the Northern and Upper East Regions.

Dr Cisse mentioned the Ministry of food and Agriculture (MoFA), Private Seed Companies and Seed Producers’ groups, Input dealers, Private Extension Company and the Rice Innovation Platforms in the two regions as major partners in the project.

He said there were other four private Seed Companies involved in the project, which are: Rural Innovation Consults, Ariku Seeds Ltd., Lexbok Seed Enterprise Ltd. and Heritage Seeds Company Limited among other partners.

The project was launched in April 2015 and among other activities, 75 demonstrations to expose rice seed producers to production techniques and use of good quality seeds were established throughout the two regions including Golinga village

The Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice) is an association of 25 member-states, one of the 15 international Centres supported by the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) with the mission to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa through research, development and partnership activities aimed at increasing the productivity and profitability of the rice sector in ways that ensure the sustainability of the farming environment.

Source: GNA

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