Rice farmers in the Volta Region who complained of losses in the past are now heaving a sigh of relief as their situation has been turned around with recent bumper harvest.
The farmers are attributing the success story to financial, technical and continuous capacity building courses from some agricultural oriented nongovernmental organisations in the region.
Despite the bumper harvest, the farmers are now faced with lack of ready market for their produce, and have thus appealed to government to enter into contract farming with them to ensure further increase in production in the region.
Rice farmers, particularly the peasant farmers in the region, previously lacked the needed technical knowledge in the production of paddy rice, something that never helped to prevent post harvest losses.
They hitherto invested heavily on the rice farms but did not yield them enough produce to make up for the investment, which caused many farmers into bankruptcy The situation resulted in a drastic reduction in rice growing in the region.
But agricultural oriented NGOs like a Sogakope-based agribusiness development and training Organization, FYSSO GH went into the aid of these farmers by offering them periodic rice production skills, especially on the use of suitable seedlings.
The farmers have over a period been equipped with how to develop and maintain rice fields to ensure good harvest. Under the IFDC 2 Scale project, smallholder rice farmers are able to come up with Savings and Loans Association to help themselves financially.
So far 2,500 farmers have benefitted from such training which has resulted in the recent bumper harvest but they say there is no no ready market for their produce, causing them to sell only at local markets in the region.
One of such review training workshops was organized for rice farmers, millers and processors as well as harvesting machine service providers across the region to equip them with the requisite skills in rice production Meanwhile, some of the rice farmers have commended the NGOs whose continuous technical and financial support led to the production of quality paddy rice in the region but called on the government to create a market for them.