Warehouse for rice farmers inaugurated at Dawhenya
A new warehouse constructed at a cost of US$100,000 for rice farmers at Dawhenya, near Tema has been inaugurated.
Funded by the Korea Programme on International Agriculture (KOPIA) Ghana, the warehouse has a storage capacity of 3,100 tonnes of rice seed or 78,000 bags of rice seed.
The facility, which was constructed within a period of five months, is fitted with modern ventilation and coolers systems.
The development of the warehouse forms part of a five-year project, dubbed “Water-Energy-Food Nexus Programme (WEFP) for Better Lives for Rural Development in Ghana” being undertaken by KOPIA in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Inaugurating it yesterday, Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taeksaid warehouses were an essential facility for large scale development of rice seeds and by extension, rice production in the country.
He explained that, the warehouse would serve as a primary storage facility for rice produce at Dawhenya and ensure quality control and reduction in post harvest losses.
The Ambassador said Korea was focused on supporting Ghana towards the production of rice to enable the country realise rice sufficiency in the coming years.
Such a situation, he noted, would help to reduce import of rice and promote local rice production.
Currently, Mr Jung-Taek said, KOPIA was working with the CSIR to develop the new six rice seeds varieties on a large scale for distribution to Ghanaian rice farmers.
Director General of CSIR, Professor Paul Bosu, expressed gratitude to KOPIA for the support in the development of the new rice varieties and the warehouse to support the operations of the farmers.
He said the cooperation with KOPIA, over the years, had culminated in the development of improved seeds in rice, tomatoes and other food crops.
Prof.Bosu said, the siting of a modern warehouse at Dawhenya was a good initiative and appealed to the farmers to ensure effective maintenance of the facility.
He expressed confidence that the regular support from Korea would enable Ghana become self sufficient in rice production.
Dr Kim Choong Hoe, Director of KOPIA Ghana, said the project would also include the provision of farm machinery including harvester valued at US$215,000.
He noted that, the project was also developing 100,000 hectare rice seed production field that was targeting the distribution of more than 60,000 rice seedlings.
MrChang AnCheol, Director of KOPIA International, urged Ghana to take advantage of the project to improve rice production and deal with huge importation of food.
Mr Richard MarteyAfleh, Chairman of Local Rice Farmers at Dawhenya, said the warehouse was developed at a time when there had been an increased demand for the facility and pledged to manage it effectively to improve the business operations of rice farmers.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS