The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has held a SeedSAT recommendations validation meeting to deliberate on how to enhance Ghana’s food security through the improvement of the country’s seed systems.
The SeedSAT is one of the laudable initiatives designed to assess and analyze the current seed systems functionality in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa aimed at identifying the gaps and shortcomings for informed investments to address the identified gaps. The newly-developed tool has been piloted in Nigeria and Ethiopia.
As the assessment had been executed in three of the four targeted countries – Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi – with Ghana being the latest country to use the tool to strengthen the seed system.
The event brought together experts in the seed value chain to discuss issues that would influence policy development and provide solutions for the challenges in the seed sector to help boost seed-industry businesses for the benefit of farmers.
The Country Director for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Juliette Lampoh-Agroh, in an interview, highlighted that the seed sector is essentially the root and basis of any country’s agricultural production sector; thus, AGRA is particularly interested in the seed sector because it is one area that triggers every aspect of agricultural output.
“Due to a number of challenges, the usage of improved seeds in Ghana, particularly by smallholder farmers, is extremely low.
Our conviction is that if we can appropriately invest in the seed sector, smallholder farmers’ production will improve.
AGRA has been working in this sector for several years, she said and has seen some success by increasing the usage of modified seeds by smallholder farmers from 11% to 30%.
However, in order to acquire a better picture of the seed situation in the country, we assessed the functionality of the various sectors of the seed systems. This she said, already they have done scoring for the eight thematic areas of the country’s seed system.
More so, our meeting is to explore the problems and opportunities inherent in crop value chains in order to identify investment opportunities for seed system development in order to drive agri-food system transformation,” she explained.
The Director of Agriculture Extension Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Paul Siameh, also underscored the importance of using certified improved seeds in agriculture.
He said, most Ghanaian farmers do not always get the expected harvest from their fields due to the poor seeds they cultivate. Since many farmers cultivate seeds that are of low quality, thus leading to low yields.
He, therefore, encouraged farmers to use improved and quality seeds to enable them to have more yields during the growing season.
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana ( NASTAG) Augusta Adzo Adodo Nyamadi-Clottey (Mrs) noted that said seed is the pulse of agriculture because, without seed, nothing else would work explaining that the functioning fertilizer is dependent on the quality of seed.
However, she also advised farmers to look out for the right and quality seed to obtain the maximum yield from their farms towards making a profit and feeding the citizenry.
Adding that, all value chain actors must ensure that quality seeds are readily available at the right price and quantity.
Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh