Story By: Zigi Reginald Mawuli:
Catherine Norvisie, a rice farmer at Akuse in the Lower Manya Municipality on Saturday, May 21, 2016, told reporters of Rite 90.1 Fm during a field visit to rice farms that, the level of local rice production in Ghana needs high level investors to strategically enhance the local rice industry in the country.
According to Catherine, the value chain of the industry employed manual means for production, however presently few independent companies have acquired power tillers, harvesters, rice millers and other machineries suitable for the development of the local rice industry. These has helped local farmers a lot since work that could be completed in two weeks by manual means is now done in a day by the aid of these few machineries available.
Speaking to Rite 90.1 FM, Mr. Ayetey Henry, owner of a combine harvester at Akuse, “we don’t have much to afford the stronger Japanese machines. We sort to these local Chinese firms which break down easily. We hardly get spare parts of these machineries in order to satisfy the huge demand of farmers in Akuse and Asutuare”. He strongly lamented that, most farmers are not heeding to good farming practices such as transplanting of rice seedlings rather they obey the old seed broadcasting method of rice harming which does not make it easier for the combine harvestor.
In addition, Catherine explained that, rice farmers make daily expenditure on laborers to scare birds that feed on the rice everyday till the rice is harvested. This she called on researcher to work closely at providing the best intervention measure to this daily farm expenditure. She again said looking at the number of machines available for farmers in rice production and the load to be accomplished in the twenty first century of our dear nation, there is a need for high level investors to start considering strategic investment into the local rice industry too.