Indica rice is the major type of rice grown in the tropics and subtropics, including the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Java, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Central and Southern China, and some African countries. The kernel is four to five times longer than it is wide. When cooked, the rice is fluffy, with separate kernels. Indica plants are tall with broad to narrow, light green leaves. The grains are long to short, slender, somewhat flat, tend to shatter more easily, and have high amylose content, making it drier and flakier when cooked than Japonica varieties.
Japonica is a group of rice varieties from northern and eastern China grown extensively in some areas of the world. It is found in the cooler zones of the subtropics and in the temperate zones. The kernel is two to three times longer than it is wide. It is a relatively short plant with narrow, dark green leaves and medium-height tillers. Japonica grains are short and round, do not shatter easily, and have low amylose content, making it moist and sticky when cooked.
Maize is the most important cereal crop on the domestic market in Ghana. It is one of the largest agricultural commodities in terms of production volume. It accounts for 3.3% of total agricultural production volume. Maize accounts for 55% of grain output followed by paddy rice (23%), sorghum (13%), and millet (9%). Maize is also important for poultry feed as well as a substitute for the brewing industry. Maize is cultivated under traditional production methods and rain-fed conditions. The average yield of maize (on-farm) for the year 2015 was 1.92 MT/ha but the potential yield was 5.50 MT/ha. Maize is grown throughout Ghana. However, the leading producing areas are mainly in the middle-southern part (Bono & Ahafo, Eastern and Ashanti regions) where 84% of the maize is grown, with the remaining 16% being grown in the northern regions of the country. Ghana currently does not import a single grain of maize for its consumption.
Rice is the second most important grain food staple in Ghana, next to maize (MOFA, 2015). Rice import accounts for 60% of Ghana’s cereal imports over the period 2005-2016. Thailand and Vietnam are dominant rice exporters to Ghana. Rice production in Ghana is undertaken in three different ecologies: lowland rainfed ecology, which includes rice planted in the receding waters of the Volta and other rivers (78% of production), upland rain-fed ecology (6%), and irrigated ecology (16%). Rain-fed rice production contributes 84%, generating average paddy yields of 1.0 -2.7 mt/ha while irrigated production produces the highest average of 4.5 mt/ha. The potential yield was 6mt/ha in the year 2015. Avnash is the largest miller of rice in Ghana. There are large rice farms like Gadco and smallholder farms. Aggregators buy rice from smallholders and sell it to the millers. One of the biggest aggregators is Lasorex Ltd.
Sorghum production is concentrated mainly in the Northern Regions of Ghana, some parts of Bono & Ahafo (mainly the transitional zone), and the Volta Region. The northern regions account for over 97% of total production. Small farmers with average land holdings not greater than 2 ha mainly cultivate sorghum. Amongst the cereal crops grown in Ghana, sorghum ranks third in terms of production volume, after maize and rice, with a share of 13% on total cereal production volume. The average yield (on-farm) of sorghum cultivation under rain-fed conditions is 1.10 MT/ha for the year 2015. The potential yield for the year 2015 was 2 MT/ha. About two-thirds of raw sorghum are milled and used to prepare food as well as local beer. Sorghum brewing is an important cottage industry in northern Ghana. Sorghum is traded mainly in the northern part of Ghana and is hardly traded internationally.
Majorly Indian rice quality is judged by variety - Basmati or Non-Basmati:
1. Basmati rice (most popular cultivars - 1121, Pusa, Sella, Sharbati)
Length between 6.8 mm to 8.3 mm, moisture content of maximum 13%, broken level of maximum 2%, and sortex - 100% maximum.
2. Non-Basmati rice (Long grain parboiled and white, short-grained parboiled and white, brown, black)
Length between 3.8 mm to 6.4 mm, moisture content of maximum 14%, broken level of maximum 100% (depends on client requirement of quality), foreign matter - o.5% maximum and yellow kernel - 1% maximum.