Support for the structuring of rice groups in the Northern Region Ghana


Services: Strategic analysis and foresight, Technical assistance, Training and capacity building

Countries: Ghana

Dates of intervention: 2002/01 - 2004/01

Amount executed: 400 000 €
Total amount of the service: 400 000 €

Main beneficiary: Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana - Client

Other beneficiaries:


Support provider: Support for the structuring of rice groups in the Northern Region

Experts: Olivier BOUYER

Certificate of satisfactory executionRapport de fin d'activité - Composante 2 du FSRPOP "Organisation de riziculteurs"

Context of the service

For a long time, the development of Ghana's agricultural sector has been oriented towards cash crops. Food crops have been less promoted and this has for a time threatened the country's food security. In the 2000s, the Ghanaian government focused on the development of food crops and made the rice sector a major priority, in order to reduce imports by 30% in favour of local rice. Nevertheless, while there was at that time a clear withdrawal of the State from direct support to the productive sector, the Professional Agricultural Organizations (OPAs) remained poorly developed and were unable to take charge of all public agricultural services.
In this context, the Food Security and Organization of Rice Farmers Project (FSRPOP) was set up to support, on the one hand, the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in the definition of a food security policy and, on the other hand, the Northern Region OPAs in the development of rice production. The implementation of this project, financed by the French Cooperation, was complementary to the lowland rice development project (LRDP) financed by the French Development Agency (AFD). The project manager, based in Accra, worked in MoFA central services with the aim of strengthening the food security policy. The Deputy Project Manager, based in Tamale in the savannah area of Northern Region, worked within the MoFA regional services (in Tamale), to support more than 2,500 rice farmers organized in takeover bids.

Services provided

As a French official placed at the disposal of MoFA, the Technical Assistant was fully integrated into the regional services of MoFA in Tamale and advised the Regional Director on all matters related to agriculture, forestry, land, micro-credit, etc. To accomplish his mission, the Technical Assistant also directly managed €0.4 million of the €1.3 million FSRPOP's budget.
Specifically, he created the OPA Development Office, within the MoFA Regional Directorate and he assumed the daily management of a team of 5 field agents to strengthen the capacities of grassroots rice farmers, their Unions and their umbrella (in all, more than 2,500 rice farmers operating more than 1,000 hectares of lowland rice fields): support for the group purchase of improved seeds, fertilizers, tools and equipment for production or processing, group marketing of parboiled rice for the domestic market, technical and management capacity building (including literacy with the REFLECT - Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques network), capacity building for negotiating takeover bids with agricultural wholesalers, banks, local governments, etc.
The Technical Assistant also contributed with the Project Manager to the macroeconomic modelling of the rice sector and the creation of an interprofessional organization of the rice sector, with the aim of strengthening food security in Ghana. At the end of the two-year shift, rice yields were significantly increased (from 1 t/ha to 2.5 t/ha), as were farmers' incomes. Rice farmers' takeovers have been strengthened and MoFA has decided to extend the project to two other regions, Upper East and Upper West.

Summary of the service

Coordination of a team of five people, in charge of supporting the management of lowland perimeters (1,100 ha) and piloting capacity-building activities for 2,500 farmers gathered in takeover bids and producing more than 5,000 tons of rice per year: literacy, accounting management, rice production and processing techniques, management consulting, price negotiations with fertilizer/seed suppliers, banks, wholesale buyers, etc. ; Macroeconomic modelling of the rice sector and support for the setting up of a rice inter-professional sector, with a view to ensuring Ghana's food security; Advising the Regional Director of Agriculture of Northern Region on matters relating to agriculture, forestry, livestock, land tenure, micro-credit schemes, etc.