Limits to green revolution in rice in Africa the case of Ghana.

Published online
19 Oct 2016
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Ragasa, C. & Chapoto, A.
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Africa South of Sahara & Ghana


The Ghana National Rice Development Strategy in 2009 was developed to double rice production by 2018 with a 10 percent annual increase and to reduce over-reliance on imports and help achieve national food security, increased income, and reduced poverty. Data show that rice production has been increasing at 8 percent annually since 2009, but most of this (6 percent) comes from land area expansion, and only 2 percent comes from productivity improvements. National average rice yield remains at 2.2 tons per hectare (tons/ha) compared to the potential achievable yields of 6-8 tons/ha based on on-farm trials. This paper examines closely the constraints in productivity improvements and evaluates available rice technologies looking at the heterogeneity of irrigated and rainfed ecologies in 10 regions in Ghana. Employing yield response models, profitability analysis, and adoption models, results show various practices contribute to yield improvements in irrigated and rainfed systems including chemical fertilizer use, use of certified seed of improved varieties, transplanting, bunding, leveling, use of a sawah system, seed priming, and row planting. Evidence also shows that extension services on rice production are limited and that intensifying extension services can contribute to increases in rice yield. While some technologies can contribute to increasing yields, marginal increases in yield from these technologies in rainfed systems are not high enough to match the productivity growth achieved during the Green Revolution in Asia. Expansion of irrigated areas will be necessary to boost rice productivity and production in Ghana. Fertilizer subsidies seem to have reduced costs and increased production in the short run, but the government of Ghana has to find ways to reduce its major production costs to be competitive in the future. Main factors to encourage fertilizer use intensity and adoption of other productivity-enhancing technologies are the degree of commercialization and improving market access, reducing milling and marketing costs for local production to be competitive with imported rice, and reducing costs and improving accessibility of power tillers-for plowing and bunding-and hired labor, which comprise 40-56 percent of the overall production costs.

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