Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in-charge of Crops, has said current statistics indicate that the country is now about 56 per cent self-sufficient in rice production.
Dr Alhassan, who made the remarks at a day’s National Rice Development Strategy (NRSD) validation workshop which has the objective of doubling rice production by 2018, stated that with this development government’s efforts at improving local rice industry were gradually being realized.
“We need to intensify our efforts to get 100 per cent; we have been there before in the 1970s, we should get there again,” he added.
The NRDS was formulated in 2009 and revised in 2015. It has set out strategic intervention areas which, when addressed, will lead to the government achieving her mission of increasing rice production by 20 per cent per annum, and attaining self-sufficiency by 2018.
Mr Alhassan Imoro of the Crop Services Directorate, revealed that domestic production (milled rice) between 2009 and 2014 increased from 235,000MT to 417,000MT and total area cultivated, within the same period also increased from 162,000 to 224,000 hectares. He said rice consumption in Ghana has seen immense growth in the past six years, from about 542,000MT in 2009 to around 748,000MT in 2014.