A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the governments of South Korea and Ghana in order to significantly improve rice production including rice value chain activities in four districts in Ghana's central region.
The agreement between Ghana and South Korea is geared towards enhancing rice production and productivity through the selection of good plant varieties, seed distribution, training, improved cultivation techniques and agricultural machinery support. According to the agreement, Ghana will receive support from South Korea in the production of rice in the Assin North Municipality and the Assin South, Twifo-Atti-Morkwa and Gomoa East districts with a grant of USD 8 million (GH¢43.2 million), as reported by Graphic Online.
The MoU was signed between Jeongyi Choi, the Deputy Country Director of the Korea International Cooperation Agency and Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Ghanaian economist and Agriculture Minister. Under the project, the deliverables include improving capacity and rice seed development, providing agricultural machinery and equipment, including the construction of a rice milling plant and agricultural equipment storage facility all within the period from 2019 to 2023.
In this association with Ghana, South Korea will be able to prove her centuries-old expertise in producing rice which will surely benefit the West African country at a large. In a brief statement on the association, Choi elaborated that support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency was to complement efforts the government was trying to make in improving rice production, mainly its value-added chain processes. "Interventions will be designed to focus on ex-farm activities to improve production, harvesting, branding and marketing of rice," she added.
On the other hand, Seth Dumoga, the Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said that the Ministry submitted a proposal to the Korea International Cooperation Agency two years back request South Korean government's support in improving the rice value chain in the West African country. "Today's signing of the MoU is giving legitimacy to the request and to initiate projects towards implementing the outcomes of the agreement," he added.
Owusu Afriyie Akoto said that the signing of this agreement was a significant moment in working on the relationship between Ghana and South Korea. He further revealed that the government wanted to reduce the 600 tonnes of imported rice with an alternative to increase production capability in the country.