Farmers lament over bad rice seeds

The Ho cluster of rice farmers on Wednesday complained about poor quality of rice seeds from the Rice Sector Support Project of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).

They claimed the seeds were “contaminated” and could only be described as “grains”.

The farmers raised the issue at a governance meeting with rice producing Farmer Based Organizations in Ho.

The meeting was at the instance of Small Actions For Enterprise (SAFE-Ghana), a rice production focused non-governmental organization.

The farmers said the “seeds” were mixed with different varieties, affecting yield quality.

Mr Billy Anyomi Agbotse, Chairman, Volta Region Rice Producers Network, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that due to the poor seed quality, they lost “yield potentials” and failed to attract good market in the year.

A rice farmer from Adaklu said clients complained of having different varieties of rice in their plates after cooking, some half cooked.

Mr Patrick Avumegah, Team Leader, SAFE-Ghana described the situation as unfortunate and said his outfit was partnering 2SCALE Projects, an international organization to train certified seed growers in the region to improve yield.

At a SAFE Ghana business forum, with support from USAID months ago, Mr Avumegah said research showed that the region had the potential to grow rice to feed the country and was hopeful in five years, “rice will be Volta Region’s cocoa.”

He said his outfit had identified ready market for the cereal and challenged young people in the region to consider going into rice farming, promising technical support from SAFE Ghana.

Checks by the GNA indicate that Volta Region is cultivating only 10,000 hectares out of its 53,717 hectare capacity, an indication that rice farmers in the Region were currently performing below capacity.

Last year, the Region was said to have produced 190,450 metric tonnes of quality jasmine 85 and other varieties of rice, including “Togo marshal”, all in high demand.

Ghana is said to spend around 400 million dollars on the importation of rice annually.rice-famers (1)

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