Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, has said the region has the potential to produce enough rice to feed the country, and boost the economy and livelihoods of farmers.
She said the Central Region was aiming to become a rice production hub of Ghana by producing rice seedlings for rice farmers in the country.
“Undoubtedly, the region has the capacity and prospects to produce rice to meet local demand and for export as well,” she said.
Mrs Marigold Assan said this when she led a 14-member team from Ghana to Seoul, South Korea to participate in training on Rice Value Chain Improvement Project.
The 10-day training is organised and sponsored by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
The purpose of the training is to let participants get first-hand information on how Korea was able to become rice sufficient and eliminate rice exports which boosted their economy.
It is aimed at equipping the participants with the best practices in South Korea and exposed them to their success stories in rice production to the United States level of self-sufficiency. It also seeks to broaden and build the knowledge base of Directors of Agriculture and some top officials in rice production to work towards improving the quality of life of rice farmers in the Central Region.
The participants would be taken on a study trip to Korea Rural Development Administration, Korea Rice Production complexes and related institutions, field trips to Farmer Federation for Rice Value Chains, visits to quality control and marketing institutions/agencies and study visits to agricultural mechanisation rental service centre.
Mrs Marigold Assan revealed that the knowledge the participants will acquire would help to increase the quality and add value to rice production in the Central Region.
She said: “We will adopt the methods used by Korea to boost the rice industry and also strengthen the relationship between the region and KOICA.”
Mrs Marigold Assan said KOICA was currently operating in five districts in the Central Region namely Gomoa East, Assin Fosu, Assin South, Assin North and Twifo Atti-Morkwa. She added that it has engaged the services of 514 farmers in the cultivation of rice.
She revealed that she was enthused about the rapid development of the country through the SaemaulUndong movement, where citizens championed and spearheaded their development.
The Central Regional Minister said the training has been an eye opener noting that the Korean economy boom was collective efforts and the will of the people to help themselves in the development process of the country.
“Korea was once poor in the 1950s due to wars but have been able to overcome all challenges and rise from grass to grace … we can also do it,” she said.