Government hopes to move Ghana’s current seed supply from 12 percent to at least 30 or 50 percent in the next five years.
The move is to ensure that seed which is the pivotal input in food production is developed and supplied to farmers in order that government meets the food needs of the population while also ensuring that majority of the population have access to gainful employment.
Minister of food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto announced this in an speech read for him by Sagre Bambangi, a deputy minister of Agriculture at a workshop for stakeholders in the seed industry held in Tamale.
The Savana Zone Agriculture Productivity Implementation Project (SAPIP), is the organiser for the three day workshop meant to support the seed sector and it has participants including seed producers, breeders, suppliers and marketers, the CSIR, MoFA and development partners such as USAID.
SAPIP is a government of Ghana project financed by the African Development Bank for five years with the aim of transforming the agriculture value chain for food and nutrition security, job and wealth creation in the northern savana zone.
Dr. Afriyie Akoto said seeds are viable part in the agricultural sector. He added that an improvement, agricultural productivity would lift millions out of poverty as well as food and income insecurities.
The Minister expressed worry that improved input amongst smallholder farmers is very low in Ghana as compared to neighbours in the region. Less than 12c percent of smallholders use improved seed and fertilizer thus making it challenging for the sector.
Dr. Afriyei Akoto hoped therefore taht the workshop would help dress the challenges and also find some better solutions to the challenges in the seed sector.
Coordinator of SAPIP, Felix Darimani in an address said SAPIP within the next 5 years create opportunities that would lead to an improvement in productivity in maize, rice, soya and vegetable production. He added that hence the project’s objective to increase adoption of productivity enhancing and innovations, including the use of certified seeds.
Mr. Daramani explained that the stakeholders’ workshop is to improve the national seed system for increase delivery of high quality seed.