The Volta Regional Director of Agriculture (MOFA), Mr William Dzamefe, has hinted that the Directorate is working on plans to equip some rice farmers in the region with knowledge to go into rice seed production.
He said that would help them to have access to quality seed, adding that seed was an important input in agriculture, thus the need to make it available to farmers at all times.
Mr Dzamefe, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview said one key factor in achieving higher yields in rice production was seed quality, so his outfit would ensure that the planting material were of high quality to enable farmers derive maximum benefits from their sweat.
“Rice is one crop that does well across the region for that matter the potential is huge…it is one crop that holds a lot of prospect for our farmers, but we still have a lot of room to expand to make us reap the full benefits of the industry,” he said.
Mr Dzamefe said the region had produced 4.7 metric tons of rice/hectare as a regional average per annum with the figure not changing over the past three years.
The Director disclosed that high cost of land preparation was one major challenge bedeviling farmers in the region, making most of them unable to develop available fields to carry out their activity on a larger scale.
He said though the government provided subsidized machinery to support them in preparing the land “those subsidized machinery are still way beyond the reach of individual farmers.”
Mr Dzamefe called on the farmers to form associations to raise money to fund the cost of machinery to undertake their activities to sustain their business and called for proper maintenance of their farm fields, saying “government can come in to do the field for you, but the rest of the intervention to ensure proper yield is purely yours.
“Though it is capital intensive, once you have chosen to be a rice farmer… you have to do what you could to make the best out of it”, he stated.
Mr Dzamefe said the soil had a lot of money in it, “but you need to dirty your hand to get that money out of the soil,” urging the youth to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in the agricultural sector to enhance their lots.