President of the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG) has advocated increased investment in the seed production sector.
Thomas Wilfred Havor says the sector is constrained by weak value chain linkages due to uncoordinated activities of the actors to boost seed industry in the country.
He is worried the weak value chain linkage is because of low prioritization of seed related issues in Ghana’s agricultural policy and consequently limited allocation of resources to support the sector.
“The seed sector has undergone some significant changes in the past few years, including the establishment of a new seed law and regulations, the appointment of a National Seed Council, and the emergence of a more diversified commercial seed sector.
“But the sector is still facing serious challenges including faking and adulteration with its consequent impact on the Ghanaian farmer,” he said.
He was speaking at the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Association organised in collaboration with the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) in Ejisu near Kumasi.
According to the President, Ghana has the enabling environment to produce seeds and food to totally feed it’s economy and export excesses to the global market.
However, yet the non-existence of key agricultural infrastructure and non-application of new innovations make it impossible for farmers to supply Ghana and the rest of Africa with enough and quality Seeds and food.
“To realize our desired dream, the private sector would continue to urge government through the Agriculture Ministry and to partner the private sector to continue to modernise agriculture with critical attention to the provision of irrigation facilities for effective water, making the basic machinery readily available whiles resourcing the research institutes and other related Departments and Agencies to deliver up to expectation.”
Wilfred Havor pointed out that agriculture accounts for about 60% of export earnings and directly or indirectly supports 80% of the total population economically through the production of good seeds and seedlings, and production and distribution of farm products and its services, hence need to give it the required attention it deserves
“There is no doubt that good policies are critical to developing our agriculture in Ghana, but the implementation of these policies is not encouraging” he added.
On his part, Communications Officer of AFSTA, Daniel Aghan expressed concern over why some anti-technology civil society groups had sought to thwart the efforts by scientists to help improve agriculture.
According to him, seed as a vital input to agriculture and that availability of quality seeds to farmers is crucial for food security and sustained agricultural development.
“Indeed, farmers should have access to reliable quality seed for optimum productivity with the application of the required agronomic practices.
The Communications Officer is concerned that the market-based seed supply system still faces a number of challenges such as distortion of the seed market due to inappropriate implementation of seed subsidy program resulting in unfair competition amongst the seed suppliers, opening avenues for “Fake Seed” and poor seed supply to farmers.
Executive Secretary of National Seed Trade Association of Ghana, Augusta Nyamadi-Clottey encouraged stakeholders to join hands to fight factors disturbing the seed systems.
He singled out “Fake Seeds” and called for ensuring there is an enabling environment for seed business, emphasizing the need for strong and sustainable partnerships as private seed value chain stakeholders to remain competitive.