Builsa South Rice Farmers to get support-Prez assures

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underlined the government’s determination to support rice farmers in the Builsa South District to substantially increase production.

The president gave the assurance while addressing chiefs and people of Fumbisi as part of his six-day working visit to the Upper East, Upper west and Northern Regions.

President Akufo-Addo also visited the 2,400 hectare Gbedembilsi Rice Valleys, at Gbedembilsi, in the Builsa South district.

Through Government’s Flagship programme for the revival of Ghanaian agriculture, dubbed “Planting for Food and Jobs”, 650 hectares have been planted with improved rice seeds by both small and commercial farmers totaling 208.

It was revealed that, so far, the farmers have used 40 metric tonnes of improved rice seeds, and 60 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizers. It is expected that over 3,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice will be harvested by October this year.

He said “There can be no better place than Fumbisi to have an agricultural college that has the potential to develop the rice basket not just in Ghana but West Africa.”
He told the gathering that he was going to do everything within his power to make sure that this became a dream come true.

He said agriculture research findings showed that “when the necessary attention and investment is given to the Fumbisi and Gbedembilisi rice valleys, enough rice could be produced from those valleys to feed the nation”.
“It is against this background that government is interested in developing the fertile lands to realize the full agriculture potentials of the area, particularly in the area of rice production to boost food security in the region and Ghana as a whole”.
He added that they were eager to make Fumbisi, the hub of rice production in the whole of West Africa, and promised to establish an Agricultural College in the town to train students in various fields of agriculture to enhance productivity and growth.

Ghana imported rice worth $1.1 billion in 2017. Rice importation takes 82% of all imports into the country.

The nation’s value of rice imports reached US$1.2billion in 2015, an 800 percent increase from US$152million in 2007.

The value of rice imports has escalated eight-fold – from US$152million in 2007 to a peak of US$1.2billion in both 2014 and 2015.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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