A festival aimed at promoting the farming, consumption and exportation of local rice has been launched in Bontanga in the Kumbungu District in the Northern Region.
Dubbed: “Ghana Rice Festival 2022", the initiative is expected to bring together various stakeholders in the rice value chain in November this year to network and deliberate on how to improve on the production and exportation of the grain.
It is being organised by the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB), an umbrella body of stakeholders in the rice value chain.
At the launch of the festival in Bontanga last Friday, the President of the GRIB, Nana Adjei Ayeh, said aside from increasing the production and consumption of the produce, the festival would also link farmers to both local and international markets.
He said the organisation was in talks with relevant state institutions to ensure that they patronised only locally produced rice.
While calling on stakeholders in the rice sector to participate in the upcoming event, Nana?Ayeh also encouraged rice farmers who were not members of GRIB to join the organisation to help champion its interest.
The Northern Regional Crop Production Officer, Dauda A. Salam, said due to the increase in population, rice usage and consumption in the country had been increasing, which called for increased production of the staple.
He said the rice sector was faced with challenges such as land tenure system, urbanisation, construction and real estate development activities.
He, therefore, stressed the need for stakeholders to deliberate on ways to help address those challenges to boost rice production.
The Manager in charge of the Bontanga Farms, Ibrahim Mohammed Rabiu, appealed to the leadership of the GRIB to provide the people with farm equipment such as tractors, planters and combine harvesters to support them in their farming activities for increased yields.
He also entreated the leadership to provide market for their produce, so that their toil would not be in vain.