Rice is an important strategic crop in the economy of Ghana which is cultivated as both food and cash crop. Rice consumption continues to increase due to population growth, urbanization and change in consumer habits. According to statistics from MoFA, between 2008 and 2020, paddy rice production was in the range of 302,000 MT and 987,000 MT (181,000 to 622,000 MT of milled rice) with large annual fluctuations The total rice consumption in 2020 amounted to about 1,450,000 MT which is equivalent to per capita consumption of about 45.0kg per annum.
Reliant on imports
Ghana depends largely on imported rice to make up for the deficit in domestic rice supply.
According to Agriculture Research for sustainable Development (CIRAD, 2007) Ghana’s rice self-sufficiency ratio declined from 38% in 1999 to 24% in 2006 and increased to about 43% in 2020. Hence the need for food and agriculture sector stakeholders to ensure increased and sustained domestic production of good quality rice for food security, import substitution and savings in foreign exchange.
It is based on this backdrop that more efforts are needed to make the domestic rice value chain competitive that would not only lead to contributing to the growth and structural transformation of the economy but also an important vehicle to mitigate and solve developmental challenges, such as poverty and create more jobs for the youth.
According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture in charge of Crops, Hon. Yaw Frimpong Addo, the country is still having some teething challenges in both the rice seed and grain value chains, especially during the post-harvest stage in maintaining quality standards to make our domestic rice competitive. Some of these challenges include inadequate processing infrastructure and modern milling machines, insufficient silos for storing paddy before milling, inadequate quality standard testing for both seed (paddy) and milled rice etc.
In recent years, the Government has made conscious effort to transform the entire agricultural sector into a vibrant and high yielding sector. The rice sector has particularly been given top priority through engagement with International, Regional and National partners to boost domestic rice production. To ensure the sustainability and the comprehensive development of the rice crop, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has facilitated the revision of the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) with a goal to achieve self-sufficiency by 2024. The NRDS will serve as a guide for all projects and interventions in the rice sector in Ghana.
In addressing some of the teething challenges that impede the smooth running of the post-harvest portion of the rice value chain, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has joined hands in formulating a project, dubbed “Improving the Technology and Quality Control System for Higher Addition in Post-Harvest Processes of Rice Value Chain”.
IT is hoped that the project will upgrade the quality assurance system along the rice value chain, focusing on the post- harvest processes and crop management and will no doubt contribute to meeting rice self-sufficiency in Ghana in 2024.
Also, the Government of Ghana for the past years have made conscious effort to promote rice production to address food security and poverty reduction through National Policies, Strategies and Initiatives as captured in Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policies I & II (FASDEP I & II), and its current implementation plan.
The Government, through its current flagship programme “Planting for Food and Jobs” (PFJ) Campaign, which takes its roots from “Investing for Food and Jobs”, has rice as one of the focus crops which is being promoted. The overall objective of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” Campaign being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, is to provide enough food and employment to the jobless. To ensure that the Campaign succeeds, the programme is anchored on five pillars, an approach that is new, inclusive and holistic.
- the provision of subsidized improved seeds to farmers,
- supply of subsidized fertilizers to farmers,
- provision of dedicated extension services,
- marketing strategy to mop up produce and the infusion of
- electronic platform in undertaking all activities in food and agriculture (e-Agriculture)
To place emphasis on the importance of rice in the National economy, the government also introduced the Special Rice Initiative which sought to bring improved rice seeds to farmers at the district level.
It is worth mentioning that a number of development partners and regional bodies have contributed immensely in growing the Ghanaian rice industry including the Korean and Japanese Governments through technical assistance, projects and programmes to increase domestic production.
In the recent past, most rice projects and programmes implemented in Ghana focussed more on the production end of the value chain at the expense of the post-harvest portion of the chain. This affects the competitiveness in terms of standards, quality and profitability of Ghana rice as opposed to the imported rice.
Thankfully the private sector in recent times have is complementing government efforts by establishing rice mills across the country to improve on quality items of mailing the paddy, however there are mitigating factors
According to a Ghana News Agency (GNA) report, thousands of bags of local rice harvested during the last farming season in the Northern Region have remained in the warehouses and homes as farmers struggle to find buyers. The report added that farmers and major rice off-takers are lamenting over the poor patronage of rice because prices of imported rice had become lower due to the benchmark value discount.
Admittedly, the recent outcry of rice farmers and the Rice Millers Association about the benchmark value policy is legitimate and and the is the need for an immediate action to the benefit of local value chain actors in Ghana.
By: Bagbara Tanko & Urowole Philips
Avian influenza (AI) is a disease of viral etiology that ranges from a mild or even asymptomatic infection to an acute, fatal disease of chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, and other avian species, especially migratory waterfowl.
History of Outbreaks in Ghana
The first HPAI H5N1 outbreak was reported in Ghana, in April 2007 in farm at Kakasunanka, near Michel Camp in the Tema Metropolis. This was followed by further outbreaks at New Dormaa of Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region and Aflao in the Volta region. The disease reoccurred in the year 2015 and crossed to the year 2016 in six regions of Ghana namely Greater Accra, Central, Eastern, Western, Volta and Ashanti affecting 148,448 birds. In the June 2018, H5N1 outbreaks were reported at Bonkra and Atia in the Ashanti region as well as Nkawkaw in the Eastern region affecting 12,175 birds.
Soya Bean Production in Ghana.
Soya bean is a non-staple crop in Ghana and is predominantly used as livestock feed. Soya production is gradually attaining commercial status as more producers are becoming aware of the availability of market for the product.
With the introduction of the PFJ in 2017 yields began rising to 1.7 and 1.8 mt/ha. This remains below what the ministry of food and agriculture believes are achievable yields of 3.0 mt/ha given the needed attention.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has been implementing the Planting for Food and Jobs programme since 2017. The implementation of the programme targeted upscaling the production of Soya Bean. The efforts by government resulted in a substantial increase in yields and production of the crop.
The production of soya is currently being subsidized by government, is to ensure its availability for processing and use as animal feed by domestic livestock and poultry industry at a cheaper cost to boost local production in terms of Rearing for Food and Jobs module (RFJ).
In Ghana, about 90 percent soya is mainly produced in the Northern part of the country and transported to southern Ghana for processing. (Marty et al. 2020).
The Savannah zone holds major agricultural potential yet it constitutes the poorest part of the country where lives could be transformed through Agriculture if these potentials are harnessed.
The Savanna Zone is characterized with challenging agro-ecological conditions, such as low socio-economic indicators, and a deficit in terms of infrastructure and services. The development of this zone is a national priority for economic growth and stability, food and nutrition security, as well as job creation and poverty reduction.
In addressing the persistent situation in the savannah zone, Government of Ghana (GOG) secured funding of UA 27.86 million (equivalent to US$39.01million) from the African Development Fund (ADF) to finance the implementation of the Savannah Zone Agricultural Productivity Improvement Project (SAPIP). The project is anchored on Government’s flagship programme ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ) as well as the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative. The Project in under the leadership of Mr. Felix N. Darimaani as the National Project Coordinator, operating from Tamale the Capital of Northern Region.
Hello Agri-Woman! This is specially for YOU! -The AgriWoman Marketplace
- Are you a woman farmer?
- Are you a woman Processor?
- Are you into Agricultural Products packaging, branding or Marketing?
- Are you working in any of the Agricultural Value Chains or disciplined?
Then, the AgriWoman Marketplace is created uniquely and specially for YOU!
What is the AgriWoman Market place?
It is both a physical and digital module of a Farmers’ Market platform intentionally designed for women farmers and agribusinesses, by women and with women
In times, that accessing markets, sustaining and building resilience for women, towards full recovery and growth, has become so critical, Agrihouse Foundation is extremely pleased to introduce and inform you of this new innovative SPACE – the AgriWoman market place for Women farmers and Agribusinesses ONLY!
The platform, which has two (2) components, a:
- 24-HOUR ONLINE BUY AND SELL and a
- MONTHLY DIRECT FARMERS’ MARKET is essentially to support our women
Agribusinesses and farmers, to expand, promote and access other market avenues for their agri-products, services, crops, livestock and other produce with convenience, both online and in cleaner and safer spaces.
By this, we are hopeful, that a greater percentage of women, who were affected by the pandemic or are going through challenging times, will fully recover, gain a high level of stability, increase their income, expand, grow and promote their products and services.
We are positive, that AgriWoman Marketplace, will equally benefit households to access Agri-products and services easily, enhance their nutrition and be in control and have an idea of what they are purchasing and its source.
Ultimately, we support and transform the Agri-woman’s livelihood through the patronage of the Marketplace.
At Agrihouse Foundation, we recognize the extreme challenges our women farmers go through to market and transport their products and fresh food produces, in spite of their diligence and hard work.
The AgriWoman Marketplace is in direct response to these concerns.
Over 10, 000 women farmers we work with, belonging to different Farmer Based groups, have called on us to create and establish a grounded market platform, that will essentially get them to promote, market and sell off their produce from their respective farms, beyond our annual programs and open markets.
1st Edition of the DIRECT MARKETPLACE
DATE: Friday, March 12, 2021
VENUE: AGRIHOUSE FOUNDATION OFFICES- DWORWULU
This day has been carefully selected, to commemorate with the global celebration of “Food losses and Food wastage”
Through Agri-Woman Market, we encourage all women, to unite and say ‘NO’ to Food losses and Food Wastage!
We have been listening and observing, and now we have the Agri-Woman Market Place, happening every last Friday of every month at the forecourt of our office premises in Dzorwulu.
The online platform will be UP soon.
Agrihouse is championing a community support agriculture transformational program, to drive innovative sales and marketing for women in agriculture
Let’s support our women farmers by purchasing their quality agri-products and fresh food crops. Come with your family and your friends and buy at affordable prices, the last Friday, of every month.
- Follow us on Facebook – Agri-Woman Marketplace and post your product.
- Register here, for the Friday monthly market and the online market linkage