The National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG) has assured that it is working hard to ensure the production of adequate certified seeds to meet the demands of farmers in the country for increased food production.
Mr Thomas Havor, President of NASTAG, who gave the assurance, said NASTAG members had increased the production of certified seeds of major staples such as maize, sorghum, and cowpea to supply to farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs to ensure the success of the programme.
He was speaking at the third Northern Ghana Seed Platform meeting, held in Tamale on Thursday by NASTAG in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer project.
The meeting brought together participants including farmers, seed producers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, and stakeholders across the agricultural sector to discuss and share relevant information affecting the implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme and how to fight against the invasion of farms by fall armyworm.
There was a presentation on fall armyworm educating participants on how to detect signs and symptoms, control and spray the crops with chemicals to control the worms.
Mr Havor was hopeful that with time the country would not have to import certified seeds but rather export them encouraging farmers to plant more certified seeds this year to increase food production.
Seed producers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions have benefited from capacity improvement under the USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative to ensure increased production of certified seeds for high yields.
Mr Havor advised all seed producers in the country to join NASTAG and work as a team to have a unified voice whiles working with government to address food security issues in the country.
Madam Birgitta Oppong- Mensah, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) Country Coordinator for Plantwise, West Africa, who made a presentation on the fall armyworm, said the worm was widespread on the continent and currently affected only maize and rice plants.
Madam Oppong-Mensah said the right time for the application of chemicals against the fall armyworm was either morning or evening, because the worms came out when the weather was cool.