Rice farmers have been advised to adopt the transplanting technology in rice production in order to increase their yield and earn more income to cater for their families.
While transplanted rice is said to have much faster growing rate and develops between 32 to 42 tillers per seedling, directly sown rice have slower growth rate with 18 to 28 tillers per seedling.
Mr Hudu Abu, the Upper West Regional Crops Officer at the Department of Agriculture gave the advice during a farmer's field day at Gudayiri rice demonstration field in Wa Municipal.
"The number of tillers will determine the number of rice panicles because each tiller will give you a panicle of rice, hence, the higher your yield", he said.
The purpose of the field day according to Mr Abu was to demonstrate to farmers the effective use of urea super granule fertilizer through the deep placement technology and the benefits farmers stand to gain if they adopt the rice transplanting technology.
He said one acre Gudayiri rice demonstration field was divided into two with one directly sown and the other transplanted, adding that they could see clearly that the transplanted site looked much developed and promising than the directly sown portion of the field.
The Regional Crops Officer noted that even though thinning was done from the directly sown field and transplanted at the other half of the plot, the transplanted site still looked more grown, developed and greener.
Mr Abu said though the transplanting of rice was tedious, it paid more than the direct sowing, hence, the need for farmers to sacrifice to undergo that tedious process of transplanting in order to gain maximum yield from their fields.
For the transplanting, he advised farmers to either nurse the rice or sow a portion of their rice farm and then thin it for transplanting.
Mr Mohammed Ali, the Gudayiri Cooperative Farmer said in the past, they used to farm rice through the broadcast method until they were exposed to sowing in lines, which made work on the field very easy for them than the past.
He said after that, they were also introduced to the transplanting technology and clearly they could see the difference in the field.
Mr Ali acknowledged the tedious nature of the transplanting but said it was worth it if at the end of the day the yield was high.
He thanked the Agriculture Department for their continued effort in bringing them new technologies that would help them increase their yields and make more income to cater for the needs of their families.
The technology is under the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) project; a five year project being implemented by the Regional Department of Agriculture with support from the Government of Canada.
In line with this, the Regional Crops Unit established crop demonstration sites at Losse in the Wa West District, Gudayiri in the Wa East District, Sing Wa Municipal and Goli in the Nadowli-Kaleo District.
The demonstrations are centred on the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in rice production.