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A post harvest processing association known as The Bolgatanga, Bawku and Navrongo Rice Parboilers Cooperative (BBN Cooperative) in the Upper East Region, is taking steps to help improve the quality of local rice to meet the demand for consistent quality on the market.

The parboilers, made up of 59 Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) in the region are into the processing of paddy rice to parboil rice.

Despite its nutrient content, taste and quality of being easy to cook, which were found to compare favorably to any of the imported foreign rice, the challenge of having sand and pebbles mixed in parboiled rice is a disincentive to consumers.

Addressing this and other challenges therefore, is what has necessitated the formation of the BBN Cooperative.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Constitutional Assembly of the Bolgatanga, Bawku and Navrongo parboilers Cooperative, a Cooperative Advisor and Environmental Specialist with Société de Coopération pour le Développement International (SOCODEVI), Raphael Asuure said the initiative, known as ‘Development Program for Inclusive and Sustainable Model Cooperatives (PROCED)” will help “introduced the over 1,400 members to an economically friendly technology of parboiling rice instead of the traditional method which has health hazards to the rice parboilers.”

According to him, the project under SOCODEVI, with funding from the Canadian government, hopes to support the women to purchase rice milling machines to improve the quality of rice for bagging and marketing; so as to attract purchase and consumption by people across the country.

On her part, The Project Coordinator for PROCED, Beatrice Esses, said SOCODEVI through its COVID-19 project had acquired 500 improved ovens for the BBN Cooperative to be distributed to the 59 FBOs.

She added that “the COVID-19 project has also acquired Veronica Bucket for each FBO to help improve hygiene and encourage hand washing.

In an election conducted, 177 delegates representing the FBOs elected 9 executives. It constitutes 3 members from each zone and they are expected to spearhead the activities of the BBN Cooperative.

On behalf of the other Executive Members, Leader of the FBOs in Bawku zone, Gilberta Akuka, pledged their commitment to work and ensure the enacted by-laws of the cooperative are followed by members for improved parboiled rice for consumption.

Source:|101.1MHZ|Joshua Asaah/Ghana

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