Incubating commercial production and marketing of organic indigenous rice within the Weto Landscape
Incubating commercial production and marketing of organic indigenous rice within the Weto Landscape
The Weto local brown rice is distinct and could be grown on exhausted parcels of land as against other varieties being introduced. It is an upland variety which is drought resistant and is currently being cultivated in the swamps increasing its yield. It is of high nutritional value and recommended by nutritionist for diabetic patience and preparation of weaning mix for children. It is very much preferred by many who have had access to it. It has a big market potential in the urban centres of Ghana. Currently the products are sold on roadsides, local markets and small residential markets.

Problem Definition

The consuming public wants local rice products from certified sources. Unfortunately, the women rice farmers are not organized for certification. It is therefore difficult to get premium price for the organic products. The manual processing of rice leave with stones and other foreign materials which compromise the quality of the Weto rice and make it noncompetitive on the market with the imported. Besides, storage of the rice is not controlled and is expose to rodent attack, and sometimes leaking roofs on the stored rice reducing it quality of total loss.
Excessive use of agro-chemicals is not only impacting negatively on the agro-biodiversity and soil nutrients, but it is also making farming very expensive with declining returns. Some of the farmers cannot afford the improved variety of rice seeds for high yields, so continue to use the poor yielding varieties. With government flashy planting for food and jobs they have dumped fertilizer and agrochemicals without adequate education and supervision. This is altering the taste and the natural nutritional value of the local brown rice. It is also affecting the agricultural biodiversity of the landscape Again, due to the low yield, and poor quality of the products, they are unable to meet the current demand and also compete favourably of the market.

Project Objectives and Expected Results

The main objective of this project is to incubate the commercial production and marketing of indigenous rice to meet national and international standards whiles empowering the socioeconomic well-being of women and food security within the Weto landscape.

The specific objectives are:
i. To register, train and support the women rice farmers within the landscape to invest and produce commercial organic Weto rice.
ii. To refurbish the rice production centre at Ve-Golokwati with modern machines for processing, packaging and labeling of the rice to meet the national and international standards.
iii. To promote organic Weto rice on the Ghanaian market.

Project Expected Outputs

1. 6,000 women farmers within Weto Landscape supported to invest in commercial indigenous organic rice production to meet national and international specifications.
2. Rice processing at Ve-Golokwati upgraded and refurbished with semi-automated equipment for processing, packaging, warehousing and branding of organic Weto Rice.
3. Organized marketing and sale of organic Weto rice across the country.

The Project Activities
Output 1: 6,000 women farmers within Weto Landscape supported to invest in commercial indigenous organic rice production to meet national and international specifications.
Considering the challenges facing the women rice farmers, this project will expand our reach to more women within the Weto Landscape and adjoining communities reaching a target of 6,000 farmers (80% women) and educate them on the benefits of organic farming to both the product and the environment. This would pave the way for registering for certification for organic rice. The farmers would be registered and grouped into trust groups of fifty membership each. The project through the Agricultural Extension Division will train farmer groups in simple agronomic practices in lowland and upland rice production using simple technology. This include but not limited to land preparation for mechanized harvesting, breeding for seed, compost and other organic products which are environmentally friendly. To enhance the capacities of farmers on improved breeds and modern rice farming techniques contributing to SDGs 4 (quality education). Here women and girls would be given practical hands on and on the field training and adopt best rice cultivation methods, processing, use of machines and improved rice varieties. The farmers would be trained in the operation and handling of equipment such as the tricycle to transport their produce from the farm. They would also be supported in efficient harvesting transportation and storage of rice for quality grains to meet the current market expectation. For the best of grains, they would upgrade the central processing unit to process and package quality rice that meets international standards.
Commercial Production of organic rice producers along the rice value chain
The project will collaborate with Department of Food and Agriculture; extension unit, Rural Enterprise and a private sector to tap in their varying expertise for product development. Guidelines for the certification of the farmers in organic rice production would be developed. Farmers would be educated in the commercial production process and allow for voluntary registration. Each farm would be registered and given a number and trained on the approved agronomic processes. The Ghana Standard Board would give license to standardize the rice.
The project will build the capacities of the leaders of the groups in group dynamics, leadership skills and records keeping. The sixty groups will be trained in the preparation and use of organic manure (composting), pesticides such as Neem extracts, improved rice breeds and modern cultivation environmentally friendly techniques. Training on timely harvesting, solar drying and proper storage of the rice will also be provided to the entire group members.
This project intends to certify all vibrant women rice farmer groups within the landscape to be economically self-sustaining, contributing to SDGs I (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger) and 5 (gender equity) and contributing to the improvement of the local economy. The women groups would be trained in agronomic practices and use of certified seeds and that will be able to increase their current production capacities by 100 per cent as they would adopt sound farming practices, high yielding varieties leading to increased income. Families of such women groups, especially children would have better nutrition, health care and education therefore improved living standards.

Output 2: Upgrade and fully equip rice processing centre established at Ve-Golokwati for the production, warehousing and branding of certified Weto Rice.

The project will acquire a combined rice mill, establish a high quality rice processing centre in Ve- Golokwati and train the youth group on how to operate and mill the harvested rice. A rice mill with its accessories will be procured, installed and training on how to operate and maintain it will be provided to the youth. The groups will also be provided training in standardized rice processing, branding and packaging to meet prevailing competitive market standards. These will be done with the support of the Ghana Standard Boards and the Business Advisory Centre. Training in value chain development of rice and its by-products will be provided. Training in the operation and maintenance of the mill and other supporting equipment will also be provided by the suppliers.
The women’s groups will put in place a registered Unit to operate the rice mill on commercial basis. They would buy the raw materials from the farmer groups and process them to meet the standard, package and brand the products for the market. The farmer groups will own shares in the processing company. The enterprise will obtain and maintain a brans for the products.
Twelve youths would be trained on how to operate and use the tricycles to transport harvested rice from the field in a safe, hygienic and timely, to the warehouse to minimize post-harvest loss. This harvested rice will be transported from the five traditional areas to the warehouse which will be established in Ve-Golokwati, the central part of the project area.
An automatic combined rice harvester with its accessories will be purchased and the youth trained on how to operate it. It will be sited at Ve-Golokwati, the central community of the six groups for hiring including any other rice farmer when the harvester is available or depending on the urgency for harvesting. It will assist in timely, and hygienic rice harvesting. Training in the operation and maintenance of the harvester will also be provided.

Output 3: Promote the marketing of processed rice and its by-products to the local and foreign markets for high market returns and resource mobilization among groups.

To promote Ghana-made rice at all markets (national and international) creating jobs for the youth and women in line with governments vision of planting for food and jobs and export, contributing to SDGs 8 (decent jobs and economic growth) and 9 (industry innovation and infrastructure) in the district. With the adoption of improved technology such as use of machines, timely harvesting and refurbishing of the processing and storage centre, use of tricycles to cart produce from the fields to the storage and processing will encourage more women and girls into rice farming and value chain addition line who hitherto were migrating to the urban areas for nonexistent jobs. The high quality rice produced will also be processed, branded and packaged for the local and foreign consumption.
There would be training in packaging and branding to meet the competitive market standards. Train the groups in identifying strategic markets such as school feeding programmes, boarding schools, supermarkets, hospitality industry, foreign and the local markets and also distribution depots in strategic communities.
Training will also be provided in the most appropriate and efficient marketing strategies such as online, radio and television, promotions and use of fliers and development of links and networks to reliable markets.
Training in local financial resources mobilization within the groups will be done and a seed money provided. The project will also be linked to commercial banks for rapid expansion when need be.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Accelerated Rural Development Organization
Country:
Ghana
Area Of Work:
CapDev
Chemicals
Operational Phase:
OP6 - Y5 (Jul 19-Jun 20)
Grant Amount:
US$ 48,525.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 20,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 30,000.00
Project Number:
GHA/SGP/OP6/Y5/CORE/CD/2019/040
Start Date:
12/2019
End Date:
11/2021
Status:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
All the activities are being implement by indigenous people within the Weto landscape.
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
Civil Society Organisations, Farmer Based Organisations, Groups and Associations could also learn from this in their similar or other problem interventions. A percentage of revenue accrued would be saved towards expansion and upgrading of the project annually. There has been discussions to possibly replicate it in other strategic districts.
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 5
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 5
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 2300
Empowerment
Number of indigenous people participated/involved in SGP project 2500
Livehood
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 100
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 2500
Livehood
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 2500
Biophysical
Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 3

Grantee Contact

Ms MARGARET IRENE SAKU
Phone: +233244170165
Email: ardoghana@yahoo.com
 

Address

P. O. Box HH 539
Hohoe , Volta Region ,

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Phone:
233-242-977980
Email:
Ms. Lois Sarpong
Phone:
+233 505740909
Email:

Address

UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302