GHANA – Ghana is eyeing robust rice production courtesy of a new integrated pest management technology developed by the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-CRI).

According to Ghana News Agency, the technology, piloted in rice demonstration farms in some selected rice-producing communities, is part of strategies by CRI to reduce pest infections in rice farms and thereby, increase sustainable rice production in the country.

Speaking to Ghana News Agency during a field trip to one of the Demonstration farms, Dr Kofi Frimpong Anin, a Senior Research Scientist at the CSIR-CRI said that the technology was crucial in boosting production by effectively reducing the prevalence of pests and diseases.

He said any attempt to make Ghana self-sufficient in rice production, needed effective integrated pest and disease management technologies that would stand the test of time to help increase the yield and quality of the grain.

The development of the technology is being sponsored by the Korea Programme on International Agriculture (KOPIA), Ghana Center, under the KOPIA Rice Diseases and Pests” project.

Dr. Anin said under the three-year KOPIA project, which started in 2022, pilot demonstration farms had been set up at Offinso-Sakamu, Nobewam, and Bayerebon No.5, to fill the gaps in rice pests and disease Control.

He explained that at the inception of the project, researchers monitored the pests and disease incidents over the cropping period, that is, from nursery to maturity and harvesting.

From this, the study identified distinct types of pests and diseases, the stages of the rice that they appeared and the exact times the crops were being attacked.

He explained that once these issues were uncovered, researchers developed an integrated management technology to be able to address issues of pests and diseases.

Because we wanted it to be an integrated approach, we used all technologies available for rice production,” he insisted.

Anin noted that the studies included seed selection, water management, fertilizer application, weed management, and the application of chemicals to control diseases and pests.

However, Dr. Anin said since these demonstrations were on a pilot basis, researchers would refine the technologies and when they receive enough funding, upscale to other rice-producing areas in Ghana.

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