Wa, Sept 23, GNA - Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) would in the next few years research into rice production, processing and packaging in the country and assist with technical expertise to produce more for both export and domestic consumption.
The assistance would also enable Ghana to drastically reduce the importation of rice and create job opportunities for more people. Mr Shinji Obuchi, Deputy Resident Representative of JICA, who said this at a meeting with Mr Sahanun Mogtari, Upper West Regional Minister and selected heads of departments said Ghana had the potential of growing and exporting more rice to other countries if pragmatic steps were taken.
He said JICA was currently supporting the entire country with a total of 22 irrigation schemes.
Mr Obuchi, who was in the region to acquaint himself with the problems of the region and find out where JICA could intervene said JICA was also sponsoring two students each year from the rural areas to learn how to maintain feeder roads in their various communities.
The Deputy Resident Representative said JICA was supporting the country in more health institutions and facilities and called on health providers and other sectors of development to sand their proposals for intervention in the country.
''It is only when we get to know your problems that we strategise to assist, so try to send all your proposals to JICA where we can assess'', he added.
Mr Mogtari, appealed to the JICA to consider giving a chunk of their support to the three northern regions since they were comparatively deprived than all other regions.
He commended JICA for its continuous support to projects in the region and pledged that the regional co-ordinating council would create an enabling environment for the success of JICA projects. Heads of Ghana Health Service, Ghana Highways Authority, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Department of Feeder Roads, Ghana Water company Limited, among many others, outlined their performance and problems and call for more intervention.