Stakeholdersin Ghana’s rice value chain were yesterday introduced to new Israeli agriculture technologies essential to improving the climate resilience of rice farming in Ghana for increased yields.
The breakfast meeting held in Accra enabled participants including rice farmers, agribusinesses, Ministry of Food and Agriculture officials and Israeli experts to exchange knowledge and experience.
Organised by the Israeli Economic and Trade Mission to Ghana, Israel Export Institute and Ghana Professionals Network, it was also meant to foster partnerships and business relations between Israeli and Ghanaian companies.
Held on the theme “Building Climate Resilience in rice production; Agritech Solutions from Israel” the featured Israeli companies were N-Drip, Salicrop, CropX, YieldsApp and Netafim, both virtually and in person.
The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, MrsShlomitSufa, said the forum was Israel’s way of helping Ghana to address issues of main concern to Ghana’s economy such as tackling climate change challenges and increasing food security.
He said the Israeli companies had topnotch technology and innovation especially designed for the needs of Africa’s climate, thereby contributing to better food security and obtaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
She said rice production was selected because it was a staple food in Ghana and the issue of increasing the local production of rice was a priority for Ghana and farmers across the country.
“This is where Israel can step in and support the effort in increasing and bettering yields of rice and help the rice sector to build more resilience to pesticides and diseases,” she said.
MrsSufa expressed the hope that the forum, which was monitored by many companies online, would lead to future collaboration between Ghanaian and Israeli businesses for mutual benefits.
The Head of Israeli Economic and Trade Mission, YanivTessel, said using innovative technologies to enhance climate resilience production could address multiple critical challenges and meet rice consumption needs.
He said although rice has been a crucial crop in West Africa for many centuries, and a pillar of regional food security, the growing demand for the grain had exceeded its production capacity due to population growth and an increased consumption, thereby resulting in greater reliance on imports from Asia.
He said the consequences of climate change such as disruption in farming seasons, droughts, heatwaves, floods, as well as irrigation water shortages, pest and diseases had worsened the situation.
In a presentation, a representative of N-Drip, Richard Nunekpeku, introduced participants to a gravity micro-irrigation system that helps to reduce water use in farming, thereby producing higher yields while saving water.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR