16.04.2004 Business & Finance

Government urged to re-vamp rice industry

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Tamale, (N/R), April 16, GNA- The Northern Region Rice Growers and Marketing Association has urged the government to re-vamp the rice industry to help reduce poverty among people in the North.

The Association said "rice farming is a big business in the North, everybody goes into rice farming the big way but this cannot be said of the industry today."

Addressing a press conference in Tamale on Friday, Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Abubakari Von Salifu said the Northern region alone used to produce 60 percent of the 75 percent of rice produced by the three northern regions.

He said poor performance in the rice production has adversely affected total national production adding that, a boost in production would help sustain food production and security.

Alhaji Salifu called on stakeholders in seed production to provide logistics and quality seed to enhance rice production as well as improve quality of rice.

He urged the government to make available essential input such as machinery and equipment, spare parts and Agro-chemicals at affordable prices to farmers.

Alhaji Salifu called for regular training of extension officers on rice production techniques.

He appealed to the government to increase the 30 percent cut in rice importation to encourage local production of the crop.

He called for the establishment of machinery service centres to enable farmers to service their machinery and equipment.

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