Central Region to witness rice boom – Dr Omega

The Central Regional Director of Agriculture, Dr Peter Omega, has assured that the region will soon witness an increase in rice production following interventions made in the area towards achieving that feast.

This, he explained, was as a result of the improved rice seeds produced at Assin Akropong and Okyereko Water Users Association under the Rice Value Chain Improvement Project (RVCIP) being implemented in the region.

The RVCIP, valued at $8 million and funded by the Korean government through Korea International Cooperation (KOICA) and Dankook Institute for International Cooperation on (DICA) is expected to change the fortunes of smallholder rice farmers, boost the economic fortunes of the region and also reduce the nation’s rice imports.

The project is being implemented in the Gomoa East, Assin Central, Assin North, Assin South and Twifo Atti-Morkwa Districts of the Central Region

Dr Omega noted that the rainfall distribution and intensity this year were good, saying, “We believe that we are going to increase our production”.

 Dr Omega was speaking at the end of a Trainer of Trainers’ (ToT) workshop held at Assin Fosu for 20 selected extension officers.

A total of 20 participants had earlier undergone a similar training programme at Winneba, thereby bringing the total number of officers who had been trained to 40. 

 Dr Omega indicated that the extension officers would work closely with the farmers and give them the needed assistance to improve rice production.

He indicated that the Central Region was currently in the 15th position in terms of rice production in the country as it produces 12,580 metric tons of rice, while other regions exceeded 100,000 metric tons of rice production per annum.

The country, he said, in 2020 for instance, imported 708, 000 metric tons of rice as the production locally was 601,000 metric tons nationwide.

The Project Manager of Dankook Institute for International Cooperation on Agriculture (DICA), Dr Chung Haegon, explained that the training programme was to empower the agricultural extension officers to reach out to the farmers with the best ideas necessary to ensure improvement in rice production.

He noted that the Central Region had the potential to improve on its potential in terms of rice production and expressed the commitment of the government of South Korea through its agencies towards that agenda.

The Team Leader from Bendel Services Group, the implementing partner, noted that there was the capacity for the region to increase its rice production and added that  almost all districts in the region had the potential of producing rice.

He said the participants were expected to train farmers on post-harvest losses, assisting them in the marketing of the rice that would be produced and other initiatives.

FROM DAVID O, YARBOI-TETTEH, ASSIN FOSO

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