Ghana News Agency
Thailand, the World’s largest exporter of rice, is to support the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR), to expand local rice production under the Tono and Vea Irrigation Schemes in the Region.
Consequently, a four-man investment delegation from Thailand, led by Vichai Sriprasert (President of Riceland International), has visited the Region to have first hand information about the operations of the Tono and Vea Irrigation schemes.
Managing Director of ICOUR, Alhaji Issah Bukari told the delegation that visited the Tono Irrigation facility in the Kassena-Nankana East District that there existed large tracts of land for the cultivation of rice.
He also said there was another vast land at Naga in the District and Fumbisi in the Builsa District, suitable for rice framing.
Alhaji Bukari said that it was government’s intention to make the country become self-sufficient in rice production within two to three years and would partner organizations that could help the authorities to achieve this objective.
He said rice farmers lacked inputs such as tractors, combined harvesters and fertilizers among others.
Mr. Sriprasert said a team of experts in rice production from Thailand would soon arrive in Ghana to support the farmers to undertake large scale production of the crop.
He further assured the rice farmers that not only would rice increase in production but rice farming technology would be transferred to them to facilitate their farming activities.
Mr. Sriprasert said that Ghana had vast tracts of land and water sources that could be exploited for rice production.
He asked the rice farmers to collaborate with the team of experts to enable Ghana to achieve its dream of becoming self-sufficient in rice production.
The Upper Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Abdul-Razaque Zebrim Salifu thanked the delegation for the visit.
He said that increase in rice production in the region create employment for the youth and reduce poverty in the area.
The delegation also visited the Tono Reservoir, rice fields, silos, rice mills and farm inputs stores.
The farmers expressed joy over the partnership and said they would co-operate with the delegation to increase rice cultivation.The delegation was accompanied by Mr. Peter Mahama of the Office of the President and Mr. Emmanuel C. Akuna, National Coordinator of Youth in Agriculture Block Framing Programme.