Government aims to achieve home grown seed industry
Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan
Accra, Feb. 5, GNA - Government has re-affirmed its preference to achieve a home grown seed industry to support national agricultural plans to ensure increased productivity, Dr Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture said on Thursday.
Dr Alhassan noted that as soon as product development has been successfully completed, foreign seed companies should encourage local seed production of their products.
The Minister said this at the National Seed Plan final validation workshop in Accra with support from Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA).
The programme was funded by USAID through its projects with the Agricultural Technology Transfer and the Scaling Seeds and Technology Partnership project.
He said the country in June 2013, adopted a National Seed Policy to guide the development of the national seed sector, and that a speedy, effective and comprehensive implementation of the Policy is critical, if the stated objectives and outputs are to be achieved.
Dr Alhassan stressed that it behooves on all to ensure that the policy is implemented, and not remain as a collection of statements of intentions.
'A plan must be developed to serve as guidance for the several interventions that will be required in the implementation of the wide ranging activities, which will be encountered in the short, medium and long-term' he added.
He said the seed implementation plan is expected to create an environment, conducive for the orderly growth and comprehensive, balanced development of the seed industry.
'It should send out signals to all potential actors, enabling them to take up their necessary positions and play their own roles adequately'.
Dr Alhassan emphasized that any nation, which depends on others for her seed needs faces the danger of relinquishing its right to determine its own food security destiny.
He said there is the need to reorganize the country's agricultural seed sector to attain its full potential and play its future food security role creditably.
The Minister said their outfits are encouraged by the gradual growth of the local private seed sector in response to the new policy and challenged them to assist the country's seed future.
He commended the interest shown by the international corporate bodies in the country's seed industry, which attests to good results in creating an enabling environment for good seed business.
Dr Kwasi Ampofo, Country Head of Ghana, AGRA, said the organisation works with governments along the value chains to develop favourable environments for farmers to operate successfully.
He said seed is a vital input in crop production, and that, with the effect of climate change, and the emergence of new pests and diseases, Africa will need high quality seeds to ensure food security on the continent.
'It is estimated that good quality improved crop seeds alone can contribute about 20-25 per cent increase in yield and that AGRA invests in creating transformational changes across the entire agricultural value chain in 17 sub-Saharan African countries' he added.
Dr Ampofo said other AGRA's programmes include Soil Health, Market Access, Policy and Advocacy, Farmer Organization Support Centre, Innovative Finance, Gender and Agriculture.