Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ghana's Rice Production To Match Demand

11:41:00 PM

Rice production in Ghana has the potential to meet local and international demand in the next few years.

Thats a projection by Principal Research Scientist and rice breeder at the Crops Research Institute, Dr. Maxwell Asante.

His comment follows the release of six lowland rice varieties developed by the research organization in Kumasi.

Rice is the second most important cereal and major staple in Ghana, besides maize.

Figures from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture show current annual per capita consumption of about 40kg per person is expected to hit 63 kg by next year.

Unfortunately, the rice industry is characterized by low production, low average yield and poor grain quality, resulting in heavy dependence on imports.

The need to increase production to meet increasing consumer demand of the disease-resistant and preferred local variety is ever imperative.

Crops Research Institute breeders have therefore set out to develop new high-yielding jasmine and conventional US long grain rice types in Ghana.

For the first time, six new varieties, four of which were wholly developed in Ghana, have been out-doored.

Experts say besides their pest and disease-tolerance as well as high-yielding features, the varieties are of high cooking and aromatic quality.

Initial consumer acceptability test has already been carried out in the Ashanti Region and Afife in the Volta Region.

All the varieties, cooked or otherwise, received approval from consumers in both locations.

The National Varietal Release Committee has also accepted all six varieties for release onto the local market.

Dr. Asante is hopeful the newly- released varieties would go help reduce Ghanas dependence on foreign rice imports.

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