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2. Ghana: Farmers take advantage of government support to produce bumper harvest (Various Sources)

Farmers in Ghana had a lot to be proud of as 2009 came to a close. All through the year, their fields were fertile and their harvests plentiful. The farmers recorded a bumper harvest of rice, sorghum, and millet. Rice production increased the most, with farmers producing 29 per cent more than the year before.

Support from the government helped farmers succeed. One major initiative encouraged more youth to get involved in farming. The Youth in Agriculture Programme provided inputs to 8,000 young farmers. Another 40,000 youth were employed on large block farms. These young farmers work together to grow maize for the national reserve.

Other initiatives try to boost crop yields. For example, borehole wells were drilled in some regions to promote dry season farming. In other areas, efforts are underway to rehabilitate run-down irrigation facilities.

While the greatest gains were made in grain production, other staples were also abundant. There was a small increase in the production of groundnuts and cowpeas. As usual, farmers also produced millions of tonnes of cassava, yams, and plantain.