Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) on Thursday, said the region would soon become a hub for rice and livestock production in the country.
He said government had provided several farmers with logistics such as; farm inputs, agro-chemicals, while many of them also received the technical knowhow to revamp the rice and livestock industries.
Marketing and storage facilities have also been put in place, he said. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the regional focus exhibition of the 36th National Farmers’ Day (NFD), underway in the Techiman Municipality, Mr Ennor said the government had already taken steps to reduce the importation of rice, and the region was determined to improve rice production to meet local demand.
Techiman, the Bono East Regional capital is hosting this year’s NFD on the theme “Ensuring Agricultural Development under COVID-19; Opportunities and Challenges”.
To improve on livestock production, Mr Ennor indicated the government’s flagship Rearing for Food and Jobs programme had supplied over 4,000 cattle and 4,500 birds to 8,000 farmers in the region.
He said a private agro-investor also provided seven combine harvesters to support rice farmers in the area, and advised farmers to engage the department to adopt emerging farming technologies to improve on their economic activities.
Mr Ennor said Upper East had 500,000 registered farmers engaged in rice and livestock production saying each farmer could cultivate about 500 acres of rice farm adding several farmers were also engaged in millet, soya bean, maize, cowpea and sorghum.
In a speech read on her behalf, Madam Tangoba Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister noted the development of the Region hinged on agriculture investment saying the region also benefited a lot from government’s social intervention programmes.
Under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs), she said quantities of certified seeds and over 1,600,000 bags had been supplied to farmers on subsidy, while over 1,000,000 cashew seedlings were raised and supplied to farmers under the PERD programme.
These interventions, Madam Abayage added had created income generating avenues and opened up agribusiness opportunities in the region.