60 percent of farmers in Ghana use traditional farmer-saved seeds

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

Nearly four out of 10 farmers in the country now sow using improved seeds, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Food and Agriculture has said.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto

This means six out of 10 (60 percent) still resort to the use of traditional farmer-saved seeds to plant.

Dr Akoto said this, in a statement delivered on his behalf at a ceremony to hand over agriculture machinery to the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI).

Through a strategic partnership with Agromite Limited, Case International and Kanu equipment presented tractors and its accessories including tiller, harrows, and plows to assist WACCI to multiply and commercialise crop varieties. Kanu would provide after sales service to the Centre.

Mr Emre Altintas, the Business Manager of Case IH Agriculture for Africa and Middle East presented documents and keys of the machinery to the Centre through Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ghana.

Dr Akoto said the figure was an improvement over the previous cropping seasons where two out of 10 used certified seeds.

He stated that the Ministry had transformed the seed system to ensure availability of quality seeds to increase productivity, production, and food sufficiency.

The Minister said the government would collaborate with WACCI to enhance the capacity of the centre to develop more high-quality improved seeds, multiply and commercialise existing seed varieties.

Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, the Director of WACCI, said the centre needed an injection of about $30 million to address the food and nutrition challenge in the country.

He said the amount could support innovation to reduce importation of seeds and food, which cost the country about $2.5 million annually.

The centre, Prof Danquah said had led the development of resilient maize hybrid varieties that yields about 10 tonnes per hectare in southern Ghana and six tons per hectare in the savannah regions.

Other innovations, he said, had led to the development of tomato varieties that yield about 40 tonnes per hectare compared to the current average of eight tons per hectare.

Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ghana called for more investment in agriculture to create jobs, contribute to end poverty, hunger reduction, and ensure food security.

She said investment in the agricultural sector was a viable and crucial component of development of every country and yielded many returns that could be relied on years after.

By Albert Oppong-Ansah, GNA 


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