Regional Office

 

 for Africa (RAF)

 

 

Rice and aquaculture for productivity increase and market development

The national rice and aquaculture development strategies were launched by Ghanaian Ministry of Agriculture at the Alisa Hotel in Accra last week. The launch was jointly coordinated by supporting partners, JICA and FAO. 

Domestic rice markets have received high levels of foreign imports which has placed considerable strain on local producers and on sources of foreign exchange. The preference for rice imports has made it difficult for local producers to compete with high quality marketing and production standards of foreign rice. Despite its potential as an instrument for food security the aquaculture sector has substantial lagged behind consumer demand, presenting the opportunity for further market expansion.  

The objective of the national rice and aquaculture development strategies is to deliver food security and poverty alleviation through increased productivity and market development through an expansion in growth for both sectors.  The Coalition of African Rice Development (CARD), a JICA initiative launched in 2008 in conjunction with AGRA set a target of double rice production in Africa by 2018, forming the framework of Ghana’s national rice development strategy. Ghana’s national aquaculture development programme feeds into The Special Programme for Aquaculture Development (SPADA), a regional programme currently being implemented with FAO assistance. 

In the opening address, the honourable Deputy Minister for Crop, Mr. Yaw Effiah-Baafi welcomed the experience of Japanese development stakeholders, adding that Ghana would warmly receive lessons learned from their Asian counterparts on the development of the national rice sector. Mr. Effiah Baafi argued that enhancing the rice sector would benefit from the availability of new techniques and approaches for rice market development. In reference to high levels of foreign rice imports, the Deputy Minister called for the ‘curtailment of imports with the upmost urgency.’  The government’s commitment to the rice and aquaculture strategy was reaffirmed by the Deputy Minister who also acknowledged the guidance and assistance provided by JICA and AGRA in the development of CARD initiative. Special attention was given to the role providing by FAO in assistance in the formulation of national development plans for rice and aquaculture sectors. 

Mr. Mbenga, FAO Representative for Ghana thanked the Government, JICA  and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOFA) for their commitment to the development of national rice and aquaculture markets. FAO’s close collaboration with MOFA in the field of rice and aquaculture development also extends to flagship FAO programmes such as the Special Programme for Food Security and the Volta Basin project which also address issues of national capacity building. 

Mr. Mochizuki, Deputy Head of the Japanese mission to Ghana, enthusiastically commended the Ghanaian government in the formulation of strategies for market development of rice and aquaculture sectors and stressed the importance of government ownership as key to successful strategy implementation. His comments were reinforced by Mr. Kito Senior Resident representative from JICA who also underlined the need to integrate the national rice development strategy into broader national development plans to ensure harmonization between development priorities.  

The launch of the national rice and aquaculture development strategies would be followed by a four day consultation workshop between August 9-13, involving key stakeholders including farmers, producer organisations, NGOs and implementing partners. 

The national rice and aquaculture development strategies were launched by Ghanaian Ministry of Agriculture at the Alisa Hotel in Accra last week. The launch was jointly coordinated by supporting partners, JICA and FAO. 

 Domestic rice markets have received high levels of foreign imports which has placed considerable strain on local producers and on sources of foreign exchange. The preference for rice imports has made it difficult for local producers to compete with high quality marketing and production standards of foreign rice. Despite its potential as an instrument for food security the aquaculture sector has substantial lagged behind consumer demand, presenting the opportunity for further market expansion.  

The objective of the national rice and aquaculture development strategies is to deliver food security and poverty alleviation through increased productivity and market development through an expansion in growth for both sectors.  The Coalition of African Rice Development (CARD), a JICA initiative launched in 2008 in conjunction with AGRA set a target of double rice production in Africa by 2018, forming the framework of Ghana’s national rice development strategy. Ghana’s national aquaculture development programme feeds into The Special Programme for Aquaculture Development (SPADA), a regional programme currently being implemented with FAO assistance.

In the opening address, the honourable Deputy Minister for Crop, Mr. Yaw Effiah-Baafi welcomed the experience of Japanese development stakeholders, adding that Ghana would warmly receive lessons learned from their Asian counterparts on the development of the national rice sector. Mr. Effiah Baafi argued that enhancing the rice sector would benefit from the availability of new techniques and approaches for rice market development. In reference to high levels of foreign rice imports, the Deputy Minister called for the ‘curtailment of imports with the upmost urgency.’  The government’s commitment to the rice and aquaculture strategy was reaffirmed by the Deputy Minister who also acknowledged the guidance and assistance provided by JICA and AGRA in the development of CARD initiative. Special attention was given to the role providing by FAO in assistance in the formulation of national development plans for rice and aquaculture sectors. 

Mr. Mbenga, FAO Representative for Ghana thanked the Government, JICA  and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOFA) for their commitment to the development of national rice and aquaculture markets. FAO’s close collaboration with MOFA in the field of rice and aquaculture development also extends to flagship FAO programmes such as the Special Programme for Food Security and the Volta Basin project which also address issues of national capacity building. 

Mr. Mochizuki, Deputy Head of the Japanese mission to Ghana, enthusiastically commended the Ghanaian government in the formulation of strategies for market development of rice and aquaculture sectors and stressed the importance of government ownership as key to successful strategy implementation. His comments were reinforced by Mr. Kito Senior Resident representative from JICA who also underlined the need to integrate the national rice development strategy into broader national development plans to ensure harmonization between development priorities.  

The launch of the national rice and aquaculture development strategies would be followed by a four day consultation workshop between August 9-13, involving key stakeholders including farmers, producer organisations, NGOs and implementing partners.