The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna has called for increased investment to boost the production of rice.
Mr. Limuna made the call yesterday during an interaction with the media in Accra on the performance of the agriculture sector in 2015.
According to him, the country managed to increase rice production in 2015 and subsequently reduced rice imports.
He said despite the achievement, patronage of locally produced rice remained low partly due to inadequate investment in the subsector.
Owing to the inadequate investment, the quality of most local rice was low, he indicated.
He called for increased investment in the subsector, appealing to players in the private sector to make investment.
The minister however reiterated the need for government to create the enabling environment to stimulate increased investment in the sub-sector.
Aside the rice sub-sector, he urged players in the private sector to invest in the production of cashew, oil palm, coffee and beans to ensure food security in the country in 2016 and the years to come.
The minister disclosed that the agriculture sector witnessed an impressive growth estimated at 2.4 percent in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2015.
According to him, the country succeeded in reducing importation of several food and meat products in 2015.
This, according to him, was as a result of measures put in place by the central government during the period under review.
The cost of food items in the country in 2015 remained very high in spite of successes chalked by government in increasing production levels during the period under review.
Mr. Muniru Limuna told the press that government offered support to about 1,000 rice farmers in 2015, 20 percent of whom were females.
He said government, under the quality rice and seed programme, provided 10,000 farmers with agro-inputs, 200 metric tons of quality certified seeds and 270,000 jute sacks, adding that government established about 90 System of Rice Intensification (SRI) demonstrations and supported 12,342 farmers under the initiative nationwide.
According to him, government distributed about 90,000 litres of weedicides, 4,000 metric tons of fertilizers, among others, to rice farmers across the country in order increase rice production.
Source: Daily Guide