As part of CSIR – Soil Research Institute social responsibility in the development of agriculture in the country, the Institute organized an open day to demonstrate to rice farmers at Adugyama and Biemso No. 1 how to capitalize the inland valley’s potential for integrated rice-fish farming. The project was funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the Africa Rice Centre. The objective of the project was to contribute towards enhancing food security, poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation, climate resilience and sustainability for local communities, most of who depend on inland valleys for living in sub – Saharan Africa.
During the open day, the farmers were introduced to thirteen (13) newly introduced lowland and irrigated rice varieties from the Africa Rice centre against two local checks, namely AGRA and Amankwatia to evaluate and to choose the one they see capable for cultivation.
Also, the farmers were shown how feasible it was to integrate rice and fish farming on the same piece of land for food and nutrition security, and increase farmers’ income.
Since rice consumption has increased from 38 to 63 kg per person between 2008 and 2018, government of Ghana imports more than US $ 400 million worth of rice translating into approximately 66% of local consumption, there was a need to show rice farmers good agronomic practices to adopt in other to increase rice production in the country to reduce importation of rice.
Furthermore, the farmers were educated on the need to monitor the soil characteristics and fertility as it not only essential for evaluating the impact of good agronomic practices but more importantly for maintaining cropland productivity and ecosystem services provided by the inland valleys.
Prof. Mohammed Moro Buri, Dr. Ephraim Sekyi-Annan, Dr. Eric Owusu Adjei, Dr. Ophelia Osei, Dr. Benedicta Essel, Mr. Musa Mohammed, and Mr. Nathaniel Biney
Source: Kwame Adjei Twum