A project team from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and representatives from ECOWAS Rice Observatory (ERO), have paid a working visit to the GADCO Rice Milling Plant in the Volta Region, to familiarise themselves with the operations of the company.
GADCO, a subsidiary of RMG Ghana Ltd., is one of the major companies in Ghana’s agricultural industry, offering a broad range of solution-oriented agricultural services to farmers. It has a milling capacity of about 3MT/ hour, a storage capacity of 1250MT, and a Dryer capacity of 20MT.
The team from ECOWAS Rice Observatory (ERO), a multi-stakeholder platform of public and private organisations, mandated to catalyze the development of the West African rice sector, visited the project site to acquire first-hand experience of the rice milling process and learn the business model of GADCO. This move became necessary following a board meeting between ERO and RMG held in Accra earlier in the week.
The Director of Agriculture & Rural Development of ECOWAS – Alain SY TRAORE, mentioned that the ERO’s vision is to collectively bring political and financial capital, partnerships and expertise to achieve rice self-sufficiency in West Africa by 2030 through profitable, resilient and environmentally sustainable farming and milling enterprises that contribute to rural economic growth, poverty reduction and women’s equity.
General Manager for GADCO, Joel Tsatsu, in a presentation to the team during the visit on the activities of the farm and the rice mill, highlighted how the module has worked over the years.
Mr. Tsatsu further made known to the team that the company’s rice farm is a community-based project where the community has leased lands for the cultivation of rice.
He again mentioned that GADCO currently supports about 600 farmers located in six areas in the Eastern Volta by making available seeds and inputs for the farmers on credit; and in turn, the farmers pay back with paddy after the harvest season.
The manager added that GADCO has trained field supervisors who ensure monitoring of routine exercise and support farmers to enable the smooth application of inputs.
On his part, the Group CEO of RMG – Yvan Dorier, stated that the support to farmers became necessary as the farmers were in dire need of support amidst credit challenges.
Mr. Dorier, touching on the challenges of the rice farmers, remarked that scarcity of fertiliser and the prevailing cost currently is impacting the farmers’ yield; but he called on farmers for their loyalty to continue the module.
According to him the low rate of recovery from farmers and the risk incurred by high fertiliser prices are making it a challenge for the organisation to sustain the project in 2022.
He said the intervention is a great push for the community and the nation as it provides jobs for the people, especially, women who are actively involved on the farm.
Mr. SY TRAORE, in his closing remarks, mentioned that there are member countries that produce fertilizer; he, therefore, encouraged member-states to take advantage and buy from these countries to cut down costs.
GADCO is currently working on 1,750 hectares of leased land developed into farming lands, roads, pump stations, etc.
Also among the visitors were representatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Islamic Development Bank, the World Bank Group, the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA), Africa Rice, GIZ, JICA, among others.
Source: Business and Financial Times