Five Year Rice Seed Project For Northern Regions Extended To 2018
| Updated Jun 10, 2017 at 9:00am
USAID Supports Food Security @ In Three Northern Regions.
A five-year USAID-Ghana funded Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project aimed at stimulating the development of a sustainable rice seed system in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions which is scheduled to end this year is to be extended to 2018.
The Chief of Party of Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project, Dr. Gary Ray Mullins dropped the hint about the extension during a field day known as “Green Field Day” at Dakyie in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District of the of the Upper West Region.
According to Dr. Mullins, they are now in discussion to extend the project through to the end of 2018 and that the move will give the project implementers the time and resources to work on issues that will further enhance the ATT initiative.
A report by GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo says the conversation about the extension will also touch on issues about labor-saving techniques in respect of harvesting and threshing as well as marketing.
Dr. Mullins entreated the community leaders to lead their people out of “hunger and poverty” by upholding certified rice seed cultivation techniques and practices the ATT project has rolled-out in the Daffiama area.
He equally tasked all the beneficiaries of the project to propagate the gospel of the improved rice planting technology to others for adoption.
Dr. Mullins said the ATT Project has also made available 22 motorized seed vans in the northern sector of the country to supply seeds and inputs to small communities that are challenged in one way or the other via what he termed the “last mile approach”.
An expert in Rice Seed and Rice Seed Scaling Project Coordinator in Northern Ghana, Boubakary Cisse advised the farmers not to compromise on improved seed in order to maintain quality rice production.
Mr. Cisse intimated that the focus of the project is to ensure food security through the promotion of certified and quality declared seed among rice farmers.
He described the 2017 “Brown Field Day” as a real success, saying many people in the Daffiama area have come aboard to cultivate rice in the dried season following the maiden demonstration carried out by AfricaRice and USAID-Ghana funded Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Projects in 2016.
Mr. Cisse emphasized that the ATT Project has enabled the locals to cultivate agra rice by utilizing the Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technology as well as other improved agricultural practices.
The Rice Seed Scaling Project Coordinator in Northern Ghana was also of the view that the USAID-Ghana funded project is adding value to the irrigation dam in Daffiama because of its increased utilization.
The Upper West Regional Agronomist, USAID-Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project in Wa, Dauda Waahu Haruna said the demonstration at the learning centre showed that the yield of the improved rice seed is about 40 bags or three tons per acre and that in traditional rice cultivating communities, it difficult to get the high yield obtained during the “Brown Field Day” in the Daffiama sector.
Mr. Haruna also served as an interpreter during the exercise to afford the farmers to have an enhanced interaction with the project officials because many of them have limited working knowledge of English.
During the interaction, the farmers were unanimous that those of them on the ATT Project are well-off than their compatriots who are cultivating rice the traditional way.
A middle-age farmer from Dakyie, Magdalina Dakura pointed out that when they were transplanting the improved rice seeds from the nursery, the plants were “miserable” but the yield has told them a different story.
Another farmer, John Bosco asked Dr. Mullins and his team to help them repair the broken section the canal of the Daffiama Irrigation Dam for them to expand their production.
The Technical Director, ATT Project, Musa Salifu Taylor who tried his hands on weeding with a machete and did it skillfully to the admiration all as if he is into farming, impressed it on the Unit Committee Chairman for Dafiiama North, Ernest Bong-edenge to make a strong case in connection with the “one-village, one-dam” policy of the government for the people in the area to improve their lot in agriculture.
The Integrated Soil Fertility Management Advisor for the ATT Project, Madam Stella Obanyi who joined the famers in harvesting the improved rice seed cultivated on a demonstration farm expressed her excitement about the energetic way the Dakyie community members in the Daffiama Irrigation scheme enclave have received the project to up their game in food production.