2007-09-28 19:56:46This article has been read 698 times.
Dr Abdulai Baba Salifu, Director of the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has indicated that failure of Ghanaians to patronise local rice was affecting its production.
He therefore called on the government and the business community to consider banning rice importation in order to promote consumption of the local produce.
Dr Salifu made these remarks at a growers’ field day at Nyankpala in the Tolon/Kumbungu district, to showcase the success story of ’NERICA 2’, a new variety of rice developed by the Institute.
This variety, which takes between 90 and 95 days to mature, has a good taste and is drought resistant.
Dr Salifu said there was more than 400,000 hectares of potential land available in the North for local rice production, but farmers were reluctant to go all out because the government had encouraged the importation of rice.
He said SARI would continue to develop varieties of rice to help local farmers to boost production.
Dr Wilson Dogbe, a Director at SARI, said some 1,000 farmers would be enrolled and helped with the necessary training to grow the "NERICA 2" rice next year.
He said SARI mobilised 2,300 farmers this year and they cultivated some 1,000 hectares of "NERICA 2" rice in three districts of the Northern Region, adding that the yield was good.
Alhaji Wahab Suhiyini Wumbei, Tolon/Kumbungu District Chief Executive, appealed to the Institute to continue to provide quality training to the farmers to boost local rice production.