USAID is leading a project in Botanga that has significantly improved the country’s agriculture sector by aiding rice farmers. The program, The Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) works by partnering large marketing companies and produce buyers with small rice farmers to expand rice varieties to meet consumer demand.
Since the program’s implementation two years ago, Botanga’s rice production has vastly increased and over 600 farmers have participated in ADVANCE. The Chairman of the Botanga Farmers Association, Mr. Sule Alhassan, boasts higher rice yields, improved harvesting techniques and few losses after rice harvests.
Some of the ways ADVANCE has improved farming strategies is by introducing rice nurseries and increased spacing between rice plants to increase yields. The project has also helped farmers by providing assistance with pest control and diseases.
This project has been important in combating hunger in Botanga and is a successful model for other countries to adapt. By taking the approach of marketing, farmers are able to grow rice based on what is in demand that season. This not only ensures economic growth in the agriculture sector but also increases food security in the region.
The Ambassador to Ghana, Dene Cretz, praised the project as being part of the solution to global hunger and poverty in accordance with President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative. Now that over 29,000 low-income farmers are participating in the ADVANCE program, all of Botanga can experience the benefits of the project.
– Mary Penn
Source: Ghana Web