Albert Futukpor, GNA
Guo (N/R), Sept. 20, GNA – A 1,200-acre rice farm has been cultivated at Guo in the North Gonja District of the Northern Region as part of efforts to increase domestic rice production as well as ensure food security in the country.
AGRA Rice, which is being promoted by AfricaRice under the Rice Seed Scaling project, is the variety planted on the field, and it is already at booting stage (about to flower).
Abanga Farms, a subsidiary of A&G Agro Mechanical Industries, employs modern mechanized techniques as well as good agronomic practices to ensure high yields.
Mr Thomas Abanga, Director of Abanga Farms, who led a team of agricultural experts to tour the farm, said he invested in commercial rice production to reduce rice importation into the country as well as ensure that agriculture contributed more to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
It is estimated that about 400,000 metric tonnes of milled rice are imported into the country annually.
Mr Abanga said he ventured into commercial rice production to change the dynamics of agriculture in the country to prove “it can be done in Ghana” whiles bringing dignity to agriculture as well as the farming community.
Abanga Farms has earmarked a 4000-acre land for cultivation next year taking advantage of the White Volta at Daboya for irrigation as well as expand its livestock production to use their droppings as organic manure for vegetable production for export.
Mr William Boakye-Acheampong, Northern Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture, commended Abanga Farms for the initiative saying it would contribute to high rice harvest in the country this year.
Dr Wilson Dogbe, Senior Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, described the farm as one of the most impressive large scale rice farms in the country saying it was being managed according to good agronomic practices to guarantee high yields.
Mr Boubakary Cissé, Seed Expert and Country Coordinator of the USAID-Rice Seed Scaling Project, advised rice farmers to emulate the example of Abanga Farms because it used good farming methods to clear the land as well as planted quality seeds, which are key for good harvest.