File Photo: International seminar on grains held at Somanya
File Photo: International seminar on grains held at Somanya

International seminar on grains held at Somanya

Two-day international seminar for market information on maize and rice in Asia Pacific and Africa has been held at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) at Somanya in the Yilo Krobo Municipality.


The seminar, under the auspices of the International Grains Council (IGC) and the Institute for the Development of Agriculture Co-operation in Asia (IDACA), was on the framework of the IGC-IDACA Survey in Asia, Oceania and Africa Japan and was funded by the Government of Japan, 2023 G7 Presidency.

Participants were drawn from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroun and Congo. 

There were keynote presentations and panel discussions in detail on global grains and rice situations. 


In an opening remark, the Executive Director for the IDACA, Hirofumi Kobayashi said the IGC and the IDACA signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2022 and have been working together since then to improve transparency in the grains market. 

That, he said, both parties agreed to launch the research project last year to find out the accessibility of food market information to producers, traders, food processors and consumers, especially those in remote areas who had been affected by price-hikes and market disruptions since 2022.

Mr Kobayashi, who was the lead coordinator for the programme, stated that the IGC and ICADA were working towards enhancing market transparency and preparedness for the food and nutrition crisis, the importance of which was recognised in the G7 Hiroshima Action Statement for Resilient Global Food Security on May 20, 2023. 

Food security

In a virtual presentation, the Executive Director of the IGC, Arnaud Petit, talking about the global grains situation stressed that maize prices dropped to a 42-month low last February. 

He indicated that rice consumption and stocks in 2024/2025 would be highly ‘’dependent on prevailing crop outcomes”.

The Special Adviser, ICADA, Yosuka Ota, who presented a summary report on Grains (maize and rice), said the major objective of the IGC—IDACA Survey on Grains Market Information in Asia, Oceania and Africa was to identify the challenges and opportunities related to food security in grains, oilseeds and pulses, recognising necessities of capacity building to strengthen farmers and other stakeholders positions in the value chain and activate them in vitalising rural communities.

He said in the G7 Hiroshima Action Statement for Resilient Global Food Security, the organisation recognised the importance of enhancing market transparency, minimising distortions that were inconsistent with WTO rules and enhancing the availability of accurate information and analysis as a key aspect of preventing or minimising the risk of food security.

‘’We also recognise the importance of developing a shared understanding of recommended actions in response to food security crises, hence supporting synergistic data collection, analysis and dissemination work by international organisations,” he added.        

The Vice Chancellor of the UESD, the host of the programme, Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson lauded the IGC and the ICADA for the programme, which he said would go a long way to protect food security not only in Ghana and West Africa but the world at large if rice and maize farmers would adhere to the guidelines in grains production.

Field trip

As part of the programme, the participants visited the Asutsuare Irrigation Rice Farms in the Shai-Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region and interacted with rice farmers. 

The participants took the opportunity to educate the rice farmers on new methods of rice farming to give maximum yield and profit.

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