As of 2016, rice consumption in Ghana was estimated at 770,000 metric tons per year, with an estimated US$ 500 million spent on imports yearly. In addition, many Ghanaians are reportedly willing to pay higher prices for imported rice because they feel it is better quality. Hence, with proper extension, the opportunities for SRI adoption are great, as the methods are appropriate for small farmers, can raise yields, and can improve the quality of harvested grain.
The earliest discussions of SRI in Ghana took place during 2001/2002 visits by Norman Uphoff. During 2007-08, the Japanese development consulting firm Nippon Koei carried out a study for JICA that resulted in some SRI trials in the Ashaiman Irrigation Scheme east of Accra, under the management of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA). Though these early trials met with setbacks, Shuici Sato, who had worked with SRI in Indonesia, was invited by the Chief Executive of Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) during 2009 to provide additional information on SRI to GIDA staff.
Kwabena Adu Broni, a farmer who began experimenting with SRI in 2007, reported on successful SRI evaluations in Ghana at Aboso-Odumase in the Western Region in 2009. During 2009-2011, the General Agriculture Worker’s Union in collaboration with ActionAid Ghana has supported farmers in implementing SRI on a pilot basis under the Asutware Rice Irrigation Project and the Ashiaman Rice Irrigation Project. According to an article in the Ghana News Agency, on October 27, 2011, rice farmers operating under the Kpong Irrigation Project at Asutware in the Eastern Region called on the Government of Ghana to adopt SRI as a policy to help increase rice production in the country.
SRI training was first done for Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) members on an Skills Development Fund (SDF)‐funded project in 2012 in six out of ten regions in Ghana. GRIB also worked on another project with ADVANCE-USAID in 2013. During June 2012, an SRI training in Ghana was provided by the Regional USAID’s Extended Agribusiness Trade Promotion (E-ATP) project. At a regional SRI workshop in Burkina Faso (July 2012), Gina Odarteifio, CEO of AMSIG Resources, described how her company has trained and undertaken SRI trials with 1000+ farmers in 20 communities (see 2012 item below). During 2014, the Ghana Inter-Professional The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has secured a $1 million 3-year World Bank grant (through WAAPP) to enhance local rice cultivation in the northern ecological zones of the country using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). As one of 13 participating countries in the World Bank-financed regional project “Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa” (SRI-WAAPP) that formally began in January 2014, Ghana participates in the project in regional workshops, trainings and meetings is undertaking nationally funded SRI activities through the WAAPP. The map and partners of SRI-WAAPP-related field sites (as of 2016) in Ghana are noted below.
- To Be Self-Sufficient in Rice by 2025, Government Should Give More Attention to SRI[December 3, 2018] A recent article in Goldstreet Business reported that ECOWAS sub-region states in April 2018 embarked on a program aimed at making the West African region self-sufficient in rice production by 2025. The project aimed at increasing regional production to meet the high consumption needs and reduce imports bill to zero. Overall rice production in West African increased by 24% from 2010 and 2016/17 to 9.9 million tonnes of milled rice as consumption was growing by 35%, faster than expected. It is estimated that to achieve self-sufficiency of the commodity, the region must have the capacity and the machinery to produce more than 24 million tonnes of milled rice that is projected to be consumed by the set date. This offensive target became necessary due to the high cost of import bill the sub-region has over the years been incurring from rice imports. Ghana’s importation bills on rice heightened to a whopping US$1.2 billion as of 2015. The figure represents a shocking 800 per cent increase from 2007. Despite over 200 percent increase in local rice production in the last decade, statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture suggests that the gap for rice self-sufficiency remains 50 percent.Improving rice yields with the tried and tested SRI Ghana was one of 13 West African countries selected for the piloted survey of the System for Rice Intensification (SRI) from 2014 to 2016 as part of activities of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP). During the time frame, adaption of the project to lowland systems were largely successful. “The study shows that, in the areas covered by the surveys, SRI methods produced results much superior to conventional rice production practices, showing increased yields of 54 percent under irrigated systems, 65% in the rainfed lowlands, and 153 percent in the rainfed upland systems. Similarly, the average income for farmers using SRI was 41 percent higher than for those using conventional practice. The study concluded that the project “has proven that SRI can contribute successfully to improving agricultural productivity in West Africa”, says the survey. The System for Rice Intensification (SRI) has significant potential to close the rice production gap in West Africa. The group behind the survey have asserted that if 100 percent of rice farmers in West Africa had used SRI in 2017, rice self-sufficiency would already have been achieved with a 5 percent surplus. Thus, replacing rice imports with rice grown in the region would have saved US$4.16 billion in foreign exchange for 2017 alone. When this method was applied in some selected areas in the country, irrigated system yields reached 3.76 hectare (t/ha) under conventional practices, while yields were 6.46 t/ha for SRI. In rainfed lowland systems, conventional practices yielded 2.63 t/ha as compared to 5.3 t/ha for SRI. The article concludes by suggesting that if Ghana plans to be self-sufficient in rice production by 2025, it is important that government focuses greater attention on SRI as the system is capable of reducing the country’s imports bill on rice.
- GRIB President Promotes SRI at National Rice Festival in Accra[November 11, 2018] A November 10 article in Graphic Online reports that local rice farmers have called for the appropriate incentives to be given to farmers to enable them to expand their farms. The appeal was made at the fifth Ghana National Rice Festival held in Accra on November 9. The President of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), Nana Agyei Ayeh II, said the incentives such as credit access and mechanization would motivate the farmers “to intensify production by adopting tried-and-tested technology of SRI to increase yield and boost production by at least 50 per cent.”
- Nkwanta Rice Farmers Have Three-Month Training in Climate-Smart Agriculture[January 10, 2018] According to an article in citifmonline,100+ rice farmers in the Nkwanta South District of Ghana’s Volta Region are involved in a three-month intensive training exercise on climate-smart farming technologies. The beneficiary farmers who are members of the Joy Rice Farmers Group are being trained by the Adidome Farm Institute, with funding from the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Skill Development Fund (SDF). The farmers represent about ten communities, including Dadiase, Kromasi, and Odome, among others, and are certified rice growers who have been working closely with Small Actions For Enterprise (SAFE-Ghana), a rice production focused non-governmental organization in Ho. The first phase of the training, which was held on a demonstration farm in Nkwanta, saw officers from SAFE-Ghana and Adidome Farm take participants through lessons in land preparations, bund-building and transplanting. The training covers System of Rice Intensification (SRI) techniques and several other aspects of rice production and sales. SRI is being promoted in order to ensure maximum use of land and water as well as other resources, based on the adoption of climate-smart technologies that could make crops more to resistant drought, water-logging and wind damage.The Volta region has increased its annual rice production from 43,944 metric ton in 2008 to 190,450 metric tons in 2014 making it the highest producer of rice in the country. A significant land area of the region falls within the Volta River Basin with the River flowing through the valleys in the region, which is considered a landscape suitable for farming. The chairman of the Joy Rice Farmers Group, Steven Obikyebi, who was appreciated the program, was hopeful that the training would better position his group to leverage on government’s flagship programme on local industrialization and economic growth.
- Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) Develops a Certification Logo[September 1, 2016] According to a blog post on Essabra’s Stories, the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) has developed a certification logo, a mark of quality rice that will be on all Ghana rice brands to promote locally produced rice. This certification, which is an initiative aimed to promoting the consumption of Ghana rice in the country, is being developed in collaboration with Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Brands Ghana which is driving the campaign for consumption of made in Ghana products. Mr. Imoro Amoro — GRIB President explained that the certification will only be awarded to processors and marketers of Ghana rice brands after going through the required GSA and FDA training and successfully passing all product test which meets both the paddy standards and milled rice standards. He explained that GRIB in collaboration with Ghana Grains Council, GIZ-CARI and USAID-ADVANCE has successfully developed rice paddy standards and reviewed the milled rice standards for training and use by the rice value chain which has led to the quality rice brands currently selling on the market.Amoro said, “To be able to compete with others in the market and eliminate the idea local rice is inferior, we need to produce good quality rice that meets the expectation of consumers… We are training the farmers with a system known as rice intensification — a system based on transplanting instead of the traditional broadcasting method, whereby one seed can grow so much rice and the paddy also comes out clean and of very high quality. So this is what we are doing to improve the quality of the local rice,” Mr. Amoro said. [See Essabra article.]
- SRI Training Sites Expanded under SRI-WAAPP
The project on Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in West Africa (SRI-WAAPP) has had continued success promoting the introduction, adaptation and scaling up of SRI in Ghana. SRI-WAAPP has multiple partners in Ghana, which include: Ghana Rice Inter – professional Bodies (GRIB), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) of MoFA, The Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), the Crops Research Institute (CRI), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Rice Sector Support Project (RSSP) and Farmer – Based Organizations (FBOs), the North AMSIG Resource, AgXtension Africa Ltd, ICOUR, Quality rice development Project (QRDP) , Navrongo IP, Golinga IP, the Rice Sector Support Project (RSSP) and Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA). The updated 2016 map at right shows 90 SRI project sites throughout Ghana, which is also discussed in an article on the Ghana government’s website. For more information on SRI in Ghana, see the SRI-WAAPP project website and the SRI-WAAPP’s Ghana page. The Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR/SARI) 2015 annual report states that farmers using SRI principles received higher yields compared to plots using traditional methods.
- SRI Adaptations with Gbewaa Variety Evaluated for Irrigated Conditions in Northern Ghana[July 2016] An article by Dzomeku et al published in the Current Agriculture Research Journal reports on SRI trials in Golinga in Ghana’s Northern Region. Fields experiment was conducted in the dry season of 2014 in the Golinga Irrigation farm to evaluate the SRI for enhanced grain yield, yield components and economic viability of Gbewaa rice variety production under irrigated conditions. Four SRI treatments and two Farmers’ Practice treatments were undertaken. Under all SRI treatments, seedlings were transplanted singly and widely (25 cm × 25 cm) with intermittent irrigation. SRI 1 and FP 2 each received only 13 t ha-1 compost, SRI 2 and FP 1 each received an amount of 37.5 kg ha-1 each of N, P2O5 and K2O as basal application and 26.25 kg ha-1 of N as top dressing while SRI 3 and SRI 4 both received 13 t ha-1 compost followed by either 18.75 kg ha-1 each of N, P2O5 and K2O as basal application or 13.13 kg ha-1 of N as top dressing respectively. Statistically SRI 2, SRI 3 and SRI 4 can be recommended to farmers based on grain yield performance. With regards to Benefit – Cost analysis, SRI 2 was more profitable followed by SRI 4 and SRI 3 in sequence. The also notes that while SRI 2 may be recommended to farmers, SRI 3 and SRI 4 had organic matter (compost) which could enhance general soil fertility and improve on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) in Guinea Savannah Zone. Therefore, SRI 3 and SRI 4 could be recommended to farmers to enhance sustainable soil fertility management and crop productivity. [See article for further information.]
- Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) Awarded World Bank Grant to Promote SRI in Northern GhanaThe Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) has secured a $1 million World Bank grant to enhance local rice cultivation in the northern ecological zones of the country using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI). The three-year project, which will train rice farmers on the better rice farming practices to ensure higher yields, is being implemented by SARI in collaboration with the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP). It will be implemented in six regions, namely the Northern, Upper East, Volta, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, and Kpong and Dahwenya in the Greater Accra Region.
Speaking at the project launch, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer at WAAPP, Augustine Oppong Dankwa, said the project was going to train the farmers in the improved farming techniques for seed treatment, soil preparation and the right quantities of manure and water to use during cultivation. The Research Coordinator at SARI, Dr Wilson Dogbe, said most of the problems the rice sector faced were due to the challenges of climate change in the country, and that is only producing only 30 per cent of rice consumed. (See article in GhanaWeb for details. A short video about the project is also available.)
- Regional Project to Scale Up SRI Formally Launched[January 1, 2014] As one of 13 participating countries in the World Bank-financed regional project “Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa” (SRI-WAAPP) that formally began in January 2014, Ghana participates in the project in regional workshops, trainings and meetings is undertaking nationally funded SRI activities through the WAAPP. Part of the larger and on-going West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP), SRI-WAAPP grew out of demands for technical and training assistance in SRI from most of the 13 countries, which resulted in a commissioned project development with an initial regional workshop to design the project in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in July 2012. The first phase of the project is running from January 2014 – June 2016. For more information about the SRI-WAAPP project view the project website and the project brochure. The project’s Regional Coordination Unit is a partnership between Mali’s National Center of Specialization in Rice (CNS-Riz) who houses the regional coordinator and SRI-Rice as the technical and strategic partner for this project, The SRI-WAAPP National Facilitator for Ghana is Wilson Dogbe from CSIR-SARI and the WAAPP Coordinator is Azara Ali Mamshie. For more about SRI activities in Ghana through the SRI-WAAPP project, visit the project’s Ghana page. Since the project’s initial planning workshop in 2012, Ghana has participated in the numerous regional workshop (see reports for the various national and regional SRI-WAAPP activities).
- Ghana Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) Undertakes SRI Promotion with Skills Development Fund GrantThe Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB), a 9,000 member rice stakeholder group, received a grant of GHS100,854 (About $25,000) to train farmers in SRI methods. The project, which was intended for skills upgrading and technology transfer, was funded by the Skills Development Fund (SDF). The project included training of trainers, demonstration plots, and farmer training. For more information see the video.According to a report by Teye and Forson, SRI training was first done for GRIB members on an SDF‐funded project in 2012 in six out of ten regions in Ghana. GRIB also worked on another project with ADVANCE-USAID in 2013. Farmers participating in the project reported initial yields from their SRI demonstration plots of 6-8.5 t/ha, far better than the national average of 2.4 t/h
- AMSIG Resources Presentation at Regional SRI Workshop Highlights SRI Progress in GhanaInformation on SRI in Ghana was presented at a Regional Workshop on System of Rice Intensification of (SRI), which was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on July 26 and 27, 2012. The workshop was organized by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the National Center of Specialization for Rice (NCOS Mali) and SRI-Rice (Cornell University) within the framework of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP); Oxfam America sponsored participation for civil society representatives.
At the regional SRI workshop, Gina Odarteifio, CEO of AMSIG Resources, an agribusiness company in Accra, gave an interview (right) about how she began promoting SRI after she inadvertently learned about it during a workshop mix-up. After attending what turned out to be an SRI event by the USAID-funded IICEM/E-ATP project, she began promoting SRI trials during 2012 among 1000+ farmers in 20 communities that her agribusiness company serves in Ghana. A PowerPoint presentation shows some of the extension activities in the field. The E-ATP final report states that 806 farmers were trained in SRI through cascade trainings.
- After Three Years of SRI in Two Irrigation Projects, Farmers Call on Government to Include SRI in Rice Production PolicyThe General Agriculture Worker’s Union in collaboration with ActionAid Ghana has supported farmers in implementing SRI under the Asutware Rice Irrigation Project and the Ashiaman Rice Irrigation Project to promote sustainable agriculture. The Union had in the past three years trained and supported farmers operating under these irrigation projects to implement SRI on pilot basis. According to an article by Mokpokpor Anku, an evaluation of SRI aimed to identify and collate the experiences of farmers and identify areas that needed to be supported towards the implementation of SRI. (This article is no longer online).A similar article by the Ghana News Agency added that rice farmers operating under the Kpong Irrigation Project at Asutware in the Eastern Region, on October 27, 2011, called on the Government of Ghana to adopt SRI as a policy to help increase rice production in the country. Moses Guamah, National Best Irrigation Rice Farmer told Ghana News Agency at Asutware that the cost of production under SRI was low when compared with the conventional method of rice production in Ghana. He explained that under SRI, farmers were expected to apply organic matter, which could result in yield of between 30 and 35 bags of rice per acre as compared with at most 30 bags of rice per acre with the application of fertilizer. Akpoka Philip, the Eastern Regional Best Rice farmer, also appealed to the various rice farmers’ cooperatives in the Asutware area to solicit loans to establish mechanized centers to facilitate their farming activities.
- For 1999-2010 SRI activities, see SRI Ghana Archives
Reports and Articles
- Whigham, Dundas. 2018. Ensuring Rice self-sufficiency in West Africa by 2025, Goldstreet Business. December 3.
- Kale-Dery, Severious. 2018. National Rice Festival celebrated in Accra, Graphic Online November 10. [The President of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB), Nana Agyei Ayeh II, at the fifth Ghana National Rice Festival held in Accra said the incentives (credit access and mechanization) would motivate the farmers to intensify production by adopting tried-and-tested technology of SRI to increase yield and boost production by at least 50 per cent.]
- Akpablie, King Nobert. 2018. Climate-Smart Agric training for Nkwanta rice farmers. citifmonline, January 10. [Rice Farmer Group training by Adidome Farm Institute incorporates SRI methods]
- Philip Nii Lartey. 2017 Use local rice for school feeding programme – Group. Citifmonline, July 12. [Ghana urged to use local rice for govt programs; SRI could increase quality.]
- Essabra-mensah. 2016. Ghana’s local rice gets quality certification logo. Essabra’s stories blog. August 31. [Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) has developed a certification logo, and is promoting SRI to improve the quality of local rice.]
- 2016. Sodjah, Doris, and Naa Palm. MoFA, EDAIF, CSIR collaborate to promote Ghana’s agriculture. Ghana.gov.gh website. May 20. [The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), through the Export Trade Agricultural and Industrial Fund (EDAIF) and under the Quality Rice Seed Program, has supported 12,342 rice farmers and established 90 System of Rice Intensification (SRI) demonstrations nationwide.]
- 2016. System of Rice Intensification: CSIR-SARI annual report. SRI-WAAPP website Ghana page. February.
- 70% of Ghana’s rice imported annually. Peace FM Online, December 21.
- 2015. Rice farmers need power tillers-Gov’t told. Ghana News Agency, December 11.
- 2015. Rice farmers must produce quality rice – GRIB. GhanaWeb, December 3.
- Tegue, Katya. 2015. Changing how rice is farmed one acre at a time. The Concordian website. November 17. [Engineers Without Borders student works on SRI in Ghana]
- 2015. 3,000 Ghanaian rice farmers receive support. Footprint to Africa website. November 12.
- 2015. Savanna Agric Institute to enhance rice production. GhanaWeb, April 28.
- Teye, Evans Sackey, and Paa Kwesi Forson. 2013. System of Rice Intensification trainings in Ghana – Report. SRI West Africa website.
- 2013. Agribusiness and Trade Promotion, Extended Agribusiness and Trade Promotion Projects Final Report. USAID website.
- 2011. Rice farmers ask Government to adopt SRI. Ghana News Agency. November 2.
Research and Evaluations
- Mark, Ariel. 2016. Ex-post analysis of the innovation diffusion process of the “System of Rice Intensification”: Case study the Volta Region of Ghana. Master’s thesis. University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde (Germany). 94 p.
- Dzomeku, I. K., E. N. K. Sowley, and I. S. Yussif. 2016. Evaluation of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) for enhanced rice (Oryza sativa L.) production in the Guinea Savannah Zone of Ghana. Current Agriculture Research Journal 4(1): 84-93. doi:10.12944/CARJ.4.1.09
- Training of Extension Agents: SRI Photo Gallery
PowerPoint presented by Gina Odarteifio, CEO, AMSIG Resources, Accra at the West Africa Regional SRI Workshop, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 26-27, 2012. 27 slides.
- 2015. (November 5). We shall meet the seed demand for next year-Dr. Nustugah SARI 5. 3:30 min. Noah Nash channel, YouTube. [Viasat 1 News video about an SRI rice project in northern Ghana.]
- 2015. (September 26). Rice Farmers Urged to adopt Nursing and Transplanting methods for Rice Cultivation-INTAPIMP 15. 2:52 min. Noah Nash channel, YouTube. [Viasat 1 News video about an SRI rice project in northern Ghana.]
- 2015 (June 22). Rice Production Projections for 2015 by Rice Expert 15. 1:58 min. Noah Nash channel, YouTube
- 2015 (May 5). System Rice Intensification Project launched in the Northern Region 15. 2:55 min. Noah Nash channel, YouTube
- 2015 (April 6). Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body’s SRI Project. 23:06 min. Produced by VIDEX Media. SRI-Rice channel, YouTube. [A segment on a 2012-2014 project by the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body that was funded by govt.’s Skills Development Fund to improve rice production in order to reduce imports. The SRI segment, which starts at min. 4:30, reports yield increased from 2 to 8 tons for some.]
- 2012 (August 23). First West Africa SRI Workshop, Ouagadougou, 8/26-27/12: Gina Odarteifio (Ghana). 6:21 min. Produced by SRI-Rice. sricornell channel, YouTube.
[Comments by Gina Odarteifio, CEO of AMSIG Resources, an agribusiness company in Accra, while attending the First West Africa System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Workshop, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, July 26-27, 2012.]