The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), has launched Ricowas, a Project on scaling up climate resilient rice production in West Africa.
The project, financed by Adaptation Fund, is supported by Observatoire Du Sahara Et Du Sahel Sahara and Sahel Observatory, to strengthen human and institutional capacity in Climate-Resilient Rice Production (CRRP).
It is also to assist farmers and all actors to scale-up the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and CRRP, while strengthening communication, advocacy and partnerships in Ghana for increased rice production and food security.
Dr Francis Kusi, the Director of CSIR-SARI, at the launch at Nyankpala, said the four-year project was to ensure sustainable increase in rice production.
The project was being implemented in 13 West African countries to build the SRI, which is a farming methodology that aimed to increasing yields, while using fewer resources and to reduce environmental impacts.
He said the project covered seven regions of Ghana, including Northern, Upper East, Savannah, Volta, Oti, Western North, and Ashanti.
Mr Kusi said CSIR-SARI would coordinate the northern sector while Crops Research Institute coordinated the southern sector.
Professor Paul Bosu, the Director-General of CSIR said the project would significantly impact on promoting the concept of food security to reduce rice importation.
Mr Alex Yeboah, the Acting Head of the Ricowas project, said CSIR-SARI had so far released 15 quality varieties of rice within 39 years in the country and urged the public to patronise the Ghana rice, which was healthier for consumption.
Dr John Manu, the Ashanti Regional Director of Agriculture, representing the Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, would play a strategic role by using its technologies to support the implementation of the project.
Dr Issah Sugri, a Senior Research Scientist at CSIR-SARI and the Project Monitor, entreated stakeholders to create awareness towards the promotion of the project to ensure success.