DuPont Pioneer and the USAID launched the Ghana Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (GAMSAP) today to help improve the productivity of smallholder maize farmers in Ghana. The program will also advance the use and acceptance of high-quality inputs and production techniques by a network of farmer dealers. The investment will total more than US $4 million over the next four years.

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?This GAMSAP endorses DuPont?s commitment to address global food security and nutrition challenges. Our collaboration with the USAID seeks to improve household incomes of smallholder maize farmers by improving their access to credit, hybrid seeds, better agronomy, secure input and output markets, post-harvest handling practices and market linkages with end users,? says Lystra Antoine, Global Agriculture Development Director ? DuPont Pioneer.

The program is modelled on a similar one undertaken in Ethiopia by ACDI-VOCA, the implementing organization in Ghana. GAMSAP aims to:

Increase adoption of hybrid maize seed and related good agricultural practices to increase productivity and profitability
Improve input supply chain to improve farmer access to improved technology
Improve post-harvest handling practices, and
Increase market linkages with end buyers

The program will also seek to partner with other input providers, farm machinery suppliers and local aggregators and processors of maize to provide guaranteed markets for maize. Dizengoff Ghana has been appointed as the distributor of DuPont Pioneer seed in Ghana.

?High quality seed (both local and international) is a key to the modernization and profitability of the agricultural sector. This partnership is designed demonstrate the benefits of these new varieties and encourage farmers to invest in their businesses with productivity-boosting technologies,? said the USAID Ghana Mission Director, Jim Bever.

Ghana?s agriculture is dominated by small scale producers, with average farm sizes of about 1.2 hectares and low use of technology. Maize smallholder farmers also account for over 80% of production, though their yield per hectare averages around 1.5 tons per hectare, which is significantly below the average 2 tons per hectare of maize yields in Africa and 10 tons per hectare in the U.S. By adopting hybrid seed and using improved farming inputs and techniques, participating farmers will be able to achieve significant productivity gains and increased profitability.

The collaboration supports the vision of the Ghana Medium Term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP) by promoting the adoption of new improved seeds through demonstration plots and field training sessions aimed at small holder farmers.

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