AfricaRice feature : Ghana celebrates first national rice festival

Reflecting the growing importance of the rice sector in Ghana, the First National Rice Festival was organized in Accra, 7-9 November 2012, by the Ghana Rice Inter-Professional Body (GRIB) under the theme “Growing a vibrant rice industry through public-private partnership for food security.”

The aim of the Rice Festival was to bolster support for the local rice industry through public-private partnership and highlight the importance of the rice sector for increasing food security, reducing poverty and creating employment in the country.

Underlining the efforts made by GRIB and its partners to increase rice production and quality, GRIB President Mr Imoro Amoro said, “The quality of local rice is as good as imported rice – in fact even better, as the local rice is fresh and without pesticides.” GRIB is stepping up efforts to institute quality-control mechanisms for local rice in order to meet international standards.

The Rice Festival brought together representatives of rice stakeholders, including farmers, millers, processors, and traders as well as development agencies, national and international research organizations and donors. It was inaugurated by the 2012 National Best Farmer Mr Lemuel Kwashie Martey of Mannah Farms Limited.

Speakers in the podcast (in order of appearance) :

Alexander Darku, Chairman, Greater Accra Chefs Association, Ghana

Imoro Amoro, President, GRIB, Ghana

Theodora Catha Edu, Navrongo Rice Processor, Ghana

Seidu Ali Sampare,

Chief Technical Officer–Engineering, CSIR-FRI, Ghana

Lemuel Kwashie Martey, Mannah Farms Limited, Ghana

John Manful, Grain Quality Scientist, AfricaRice, Benin

Podcast credit : Savitri Mohapatra, R.Raman, AfricaRice


Africa Rice Recipes – WAAKYE - a popular dish from Ghana made with rice and beans

Waakye (pronounced waa-chay) is a popular dish from Ghana made with rice and beans.

The dish requires about 15 minutes of preparation and an hour and half of cooking time.


2 cups of rice

1 cup of red beans or black-eyed peas or any kind of beans or peas

4 dry sorghum leaves (if you do not have sorghum leaves, you can use 1 teaspoon of baking soda instead.)

Salt to taste

10 cups of water


Wash and soak the beans in water for 3-4 hours.

Drain the beans and place them in a large pot with water.

Bring the mixture to a boil and let it cook for about 45 minutes

Wash the sorghum leaves.

Cut the leaves into lengths of 3 to 4 inches, toss them in with the boiling beans and allow them to cook together.

If sorghum leaves are not available, add a teaspoon of baking soda to give the Waakye its characteristic color.

Remove the sorghum leaves from the beans after 5 minutes

Wash the rice and add to the beans in the pot, along with more water.

Allow the mixture to cook for about 15-20 minutes (or until the beans are tender and rice is cooked and all liquid has been totally absorbed.)

Watch out that the mixture does not burn and keep stirring while it cooks

Season with salt

Serve the dish with pepper sauce, boiled eggs and/or a stew of, fish, chicken, beef or vegetables.

Bon appétit!

Recipe author :

Eugenia Manful,  Ghana Revenue Authority, Accra, Ghana

Guests :

John Manful, AfricaRice, Benin

Jemima, CSIR-Food Research Institute, Accra, Ghana

Abimbola Olukemi Sanni, AfricaRice, Benin

Seth Graham Acquaah, AfricaRice, Benin

Yvette Singbo Dossa, AfricaRice, Benin

Podcast credit : Savitri Mohapatra, R.Raman, AfricaRice

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App