Soil researchers develop “Sawah” technology to boost rice production
Research scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)/Soil Research Institute (SRI) have developed a “SAWAH” technology, a modern method of lowland rice farming devised to improve rice production in value, quality and quantity.
The new technology is part of efforts to end the importation of rice into the country.
Following, a verification demonstration exercise has been organised for over a hundred rice farmers drawn from the Sene-West District at Wiase, a farming community near the capital, Kwame Danso, in the Bono East Region last month, a Senior Research Scientist of S.R.I, Dr. Emmanuel Dugan, has disclosed.
The verification demonstration exercise was sponsored by Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG), with financial assistance from the Canadian Government.
Dr. Dugan explained that the “SAWAH” technology shifts from the old method of rice farming, and consists of three main sub-technology management, namely, land, water and nutrients, and if rightly applied, would increase yields from the national average of 2.5 tonnes to 6.5 per hectare.
He said the farmers were taken through the process of applying fertiliser and nutrients at the appropriate time for a balanced diet needed for proper growth of the rice for higher yields to afford the farmers an increase in their incomes and improve their living standards.
The Director of S.R.I, Prof. Mohammed Moro Buri, urged the farmers to adopt and improve soil management technology to sustain and increase their rice yields. “The current average rice production in the country is very low, and if we need to improve upon it, hence, stakeholders should adopt this “SAWAH” technology to maximise their gains,” he said.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sene-West, John Nyarba, represented by the Co-ordinating Director, Eric Saabome, pointed out that it was a golden opportunity to have the programme held in the area, since the district has a greater number of rice farmers and thus was contributing to the agro-economic growth of the district in particular, and the nation at large.
The District Director of Agriculture, Matthew Opoku, lauded the modern technology introduction by the researchers, saying it had come at the right time to address the numerous challenges facing farmers in the local rice industry in the district.
He advised the farmers to get involved and ensure that they practice the skills and knowledge acquired at the demonstration exercise to enhance their social and financial status.