K-Ricebelt project boosts domestic food security

non-basmati white rice
Image Credit: www.acdivoca.org

The nation’s march toward improved food security has received a boost with the arrival of 330 tonnes of high-yielding rice seeds, courtesy of the K-Ricebelt project, a South Korean initiative spearheaded by the Korea Partnership for Innovation of Agriculture (KOPIA).

This project signifies a new sphere in agricultural development, providing an additional window amid escalating global food security.

For decades, the country has relied on rice imports to meet its domestic needs. However, factors like climate change and volatile global markets have made this dependence increasingly risky.

According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), paddy rice production has fluctuated significantly between 2008 and 2020, ranging from 302,000 to 987,000 metric tonnes (MT) (equivalent to 181,000 to 622,000 MT of milled rice).

Despite this variation, the country still relies on imports to meet its rice consumption needs. In 2020, Ghanaians consumed roughly 1.45 million MT of rice, translating to an average annual consumption of 45 kilograms per person.

The K-Ricebelt project offers a sustainable solution by empowering domestic farmers with resilient rice varieties specifically developed for local conditions.

The project goes beyond simply providing seeds. KOPIA has established a 60-hectare rice cultivation centre in Ghana, acting as a vital hub for seed production and knowledge transfer.

Here, local agricultural experts collaborate with their Korean counterparts to develop rice varieties like ‘Korea-Mo’ and ‘Agyapa’, boasting yields two to three times higher than traditional varieties.

Additionally, the project incorporates an indigenous rice variety, ‘Agra’, ensuring the seeds are well-adapted to our climate and soil composition.


The success of the pilot project in 2023 speaks volumes. Ghana, along with five other African countries, surpassed the initial target, producing a total of 2,321 tonnes of rice seeds. This achievement paves the way for a more ambitious goal – reaching an annual production of 10,000 tonnes of rice seeds by 2027.

The project further equips local farmers with the knowledge and tools needed to cultivate these high-yielding varieties. This not only bolsters food security, but also injects financial stability into rural communities. Imagine the impact – from relying on unpredictable imports to becoming self-sufficient rice producers, capable of feeding not just their families but the entire nation.

The K-Ricebelt project is evidence of the power of international collaboration. South Korea’s investment of over US$77million over the next four years demonstrates its commitment to tackling food security in Africa not just through finance, but also through a knowledge-sharing partnership that builds capacity within Ghana’s agricultural sector.

The project is not without its challenges, one stakeholder said. Long-term sustainability hinges on factors like infrastructure development, consistent water access, and ongoing training for farmers. However, the initial success and Ghana’s commitment to the project offer a hopeful outlook.

The arrival of these Korean seeds signifies more than just a shipment; it symbolises the potential for a food-secure future in the country. With continued collaboration and dedication, the K-Ricebelt project can be a game-changer, transforming Ghana’s agricultural landscape and ensuring a brighter future for our nation, the stakeholder added.

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