A joint effort by the government of Ghana, Japan and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has launched an initiative aimed at strengthening the competencies of the rice value chain in order to catalyze the use of modern technologies to boost production of the cereal.
The project, which was launched last Friday in Accra, is expected to realise a higher value creation, and comply with market requirements in improving lives and livelihoods.
The project will build the capacity of value chain actors, mainly farmers, agro-traders, crop processers, and public supporting institutions by activities focusing on quality assurance.
It will also aid at increased productivity and business competitiveness as well as the supply of equipment. Additionally, it will support the use of best practices and modern management systems to enhance the quality of harvested rice and the products derived from it.
Rice is an important crop in Ghana, with a steady increase in consumption over recent decades due to population growth, urbanisation and changes in consumer habits.
However, multiple challenges across the value chain are holding back the full development potential of national rice production.
The government recognises that efforts to make the domestic rice value chain more competitive will not only contribute to economic growth and structural transformation, but also to solving developmental challenges like poverty and job creation for youth, women and other vulnerable population groups.
The project will be implemented by UNIDO in coordination with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the government of Japan under the funding scheme of the government of Japan.
The formal launch of the project was marked by a ceremony bringing together the Government of Ghana, represented Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Yaw Frimpong Addo; Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Hisanobu Mochizuki and Representative of UNIDO on Ghana, Fakhruddin Azizi.