Government takes steps to boost rice production as Ghana observes World Food Day

| Updated Oct 17, 2017 at 7:50pm


Rice farmers in the Volta Region


Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Sagre Babangi, says Ghana is food secure in almost every sector.

According to him, the only sector requiring increased production is the rice sector.

In an interview with Radio Ghana on the occasion of this year's World Food Day, Dr. Babangi said government is taking the necessary measures to improve the cultivation of rice and other crops so that the country can have enough food to feed the nation.

Touching on the ‘planting for Food and jobs programme’, Dr. Babangi said it has been successful so far in spite of some challenges.

The Deputy Agriculture Minister also disclosed that officials from both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire’s government will discuss strategies about influencing the price of cocoa on the International market.

The two countries produce more than half of the world's cocoa, yet they do not play any role in determining the price of the beans.

The President of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body, John Kennedy Amoro says there has been remarkable production of local rice but consumption has also increased.

He therefore called for direct government support to ensure that the value chain is harnessed to produce quality rice.

He believes a dedicated fund must be created to support rice producers because rice has a huge comparative advantage even over cocoa production.

The President of the Agriculture Chamber of Commerce Philip Abayori, says the day is significant across the world because it is meant to eradicate hunger and ensure food security.

According to him, Ghana has cause to celebrate the day because it is not doing badly in food production.

He told GBC’s George Ankrah that the Ministry needs to constantly re-train farmers on how to apply chemicals to ensure the safety of consumers.

On the persistent ban of Ghana's export produce for low quality by the European Union, Mr. Abayori said Ghana's technical staff need to ensure safety and quality to maintain its presence on the International Market.

He said banned chemicals must also be prevented from coming into Ghana.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Standards Authority, Dr. Kofi Amponsah Bediako says Ghana has every right to observe the day because it has done enough to feed its citizens.

He, however, cautioned that the country must focus on food safety going forward in the wake of attacks by the fall Army Worm.

He called for collaboration with all the standard enforcement agencies in that direction.

As the World observes World Food Day, farmers in Ghana are still battling the fall Army Worm infestation and draught.

The 2016 second National best Farmer, Martin Akudugu who shared his thoughts on the day said Ghana will not enjoy bumper harvest as far as cereals are concerned.

He suggested that the way to go is irrigation and urged government to speed up the change in dynamics.

He said Ghana has no business importing rice, rather Ghana must be exporting rice if the right structures and support are put in place.