The decision, which was reached at the recently held Dakar II Summit, seeks to increase local rice production toward attaining self-sufficiency. It will also reduce the country’s US$560million annual rice import bill and its concomitant impact on cedi depreciation. This will be achieved through productivity growth and area expansion, improving post-harvest rice quality and value addition.
The investment is expected to increase domestic rice production from the current 1.14 to 2.4 million tonnes per annum, and increase yields by some 30 percent.
Chief Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Robert P. Ankobiah , revealed this to the at an agriculture roundtable discussion organized by Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) in Accra, said the money will also assist in the expansion of certified seed production to 25,000 tones per year; rehabilitate 21,000 hectares of irrigated lands; and develop 81,000 hectares of new rain-fed rice lands.
he also added that amount of US$21million will be expended on research and development programmes focused on expanding access to high quality rice varieties; US$613million on land development programmes including irrigation; US$18million on technical assistance programmes, and US$32million on post-harvest programmes and technologies.