Fievie Rice Project Targets 1,500mt Of Rice

06.07.2011 LISTEN
By Seth J. Bokpe - Daily Graphic

The Fievie Rice Project in the South Tongu District in the Volta Region is set to harvest 1,500 tones of high grade rice by the end of July, this year, for the local market.

The farm is also on course to produce some 20,000 tonnes of rice by 2012 for the Ghanaian market.

The project, a public private partnership (PPP) supported by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, is a collaboration between the South Tongu District, Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO), an agriculture investment company and the Fievie community.

The project, under the watch of a team of engineers and rice experts from Brazil and a local hydrologist, uses water from the Volta Lake for irrigation.

During a tour of some rice fields and a rice mill in the South Tongu District, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), Mr Fifi Kwetey, said the project would be one of many in the country aimed at making the country self-sustaining so far as food was concerned.

Currently, the country’s import bill for rice stands at about $450 million annually while rice production stands at about 30 per cent, leaving a shortfall of 70 per cent.

In that regard, the deputy minister stated that the government would support more of such initiatives to make rice importation a thing of the past.

At a durbar with the chiefs and people of the area, Mr Kwetey commended the community for their active participation in the project.

He said if managed well the project would ensure that hundreds of unemployed youth would get jobs under the youth in agriculture initiative.

The District Chief Executive of South Tongu, Mr Daniel Alormeku, said the district was gradually positioning itself as “the rice basket of Ghana” and ultimately the West African sub-region.

The Senior Project Manager, Mr Dapo Abimbola, observed that the viability of the land, coupled with its proximity to the Volta Lake, made the project viable.

He said the project would further be expanded through the acquisition of extra lands before the close of the year.