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USAID-Rice up-scaling project has been a game changer-Stakeholders

The United state agency for international development (USAID) has hailed the achievements and successes of the rice seed scaling project, which has come to an ended.

The USAID, as part of its feed the future program attempted to address some of the bottlenecks in the rice sector; specifically, access to quality seeds by funded the rice up-scaling project that was implemented by Africa rice.

At an end of project review workshop, organized by Africa-Rice and the Savannah agricultural research institute of the council for scientific and industrial research(SARI-CSIR), a program management specialist in agriculture at USAID-ADVANCE, Grace Sebugah, noted that the project had contributed tremendously to stimulating the development of a sustainable rice seed system in northern Ghana, particularly in USAID’s “feed the future zones”.

She mentioned that, capacities of value chain actor such as SARI, private seed companies and input dealers among others have been enhanced on best agricultural practices and business development.

Garry Mullins, chief of party at Agricultural Technology transfer project (The implementing partner) of the USAID- said, domestic rice consumption had over the years been on the ascendancy, yet regrettably about 300 to 600 million dollars in expended on the importation of the commodity, thereby pushing domestic rice producers out of business.

He expressed hope that with adoption of the technology by ATT and Africa-Rice, yields of rice could be increased from 3 to 4 folds in order to reduce the importation of rice into the country.

listen to Garry Mullin

National coordinator of the up scaling rice project head of AfricaRice, and the implementers of the project, Bubakari Cisse, explained that, the 3 year spent was worth it. He mentioned that the project rallied all value chain actors together to chart a new path towards the development of the rice sector.

listen to the National coordinator, Boukary Cisse

On sustainability, Bubakari Cisse, stressed on the need for some further assistance in terms of monitoring and technical support, to be extended to the producers in order to make it achievable.

Acting director of the Savanna agricultural research institute of the council for scientific and industrial research, Dr. Roger Kanton, called for pragmatic measures to be instituted, in sustaining the gains made by the project.

He said, support to critical areas like irrigable dam amongst others, could help enhance the sustainability of the projects.

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