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October 03, 2011

Ghana: 110 combine harvesters for Northern Region rice farmers

The Ghanaian government has delivered 110 combine harvesters for distribution to farmers across the Northern Region to improve rice farms.

The machines, which come in addition to 18 larger combined harvesters distributed last year, are expected to reach the farmers early enough for the harvest season next month.

The Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Joseph Faalong,said that although the region would need more such harvesters, the latest addition would help the farmers a great deal to harvest their crops before they experienced any worse form of flooding.

Rice production in the region is expected to go up this year, following various interventions by the government and development partners under the Breadbasket project, an agricultural productivity programme for the northern part of the country.

Last year, the government subsided 100,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers, out of which the Northern Region consumed 39 per cent. This year, 150,000 tonnes would be subsidised to benefit more farmers who, agricultural experts in the north said, were gradually waking up to its importance in increasing yields.

With the subsidies, the farmers purchase the fertilisers for GH¢30 instead of the non-sibsidised price of GH¢45.

About 70 per cent of the total land mass of the Northern Region, measuring about 4.9 million hactares, is arable but only about 800,000 hectares (representing 16 per cent) is under cultivation, in spite of the availability of water resources in the area. About 10 per cent of the Volta Lake lies within the region to the benefit of some 210 communities.

Modern Ghana

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