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January 18, 2010

Ghana rice output up by 29% in 2009

Ghana said its agricultural sector witnessed a marked improvement at the end of 2009 in food production as a result of various initiatives pursued by the government to revamp the sector.

According to Ghana’s Agriculture ministry, on top of the achievements were a remarkable 29 per cent increase in rice production and five per cent increase in maize production, while sorghum and millet production went up by 20 per cent each. Groundnuts and cowpea also recorded a three per cent growth rate each.

The country also produced 12 million tones of cassava, six million tonnes of yams, 1.5 million tones of cocoyam and 3.6 million tones of plantain in the past year due to the various incentives made available by the government.

The increase in food production was facilitated by the revamping of the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YAP), which equipped about 12,439 fanners, including some 8,000 youths with inputs to cultivate 3,236 hectares of maize, 6,935 hectares of rice and 4,015 hectares of soybeans. the ministry said.

With regard to agricultural mechanisation, the records indicate that 85 Agric Mechanisation Centres were established in all 10 regions with tractors and 63 combined harvesters procured for distribution to fanners.

As part of the government's plan for 2010, each district will have at least one agricultural mechanisation centre and be equipped to cultivate a minimum of 241,050 hectares of land in the next 3 years.

The rehabilitation of irrigation facilities across the country which started in earnest at the beginning of last year, are at various stages of completion and is aimed at reducing the effects of unreliable rainfall and to increase employment opportunities in the dry season.

The Irrigation Project is projected to' result in the production of about 33,000 metric tons of rice, 6,000 metric tons of maize, 56,775 metric tons of vegetables and 45,000 metric tons of fodder this year.

Commodity Online

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