The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Africa Seeds to help improve the availability of quality seeds to support the country’s agricultural transformation agenda.
Africa Seeds is an agency of the African Union (AU) in charge of the implementation of the African Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP), an official AU policy and programme platform for seed sector development.
Under the MoU, Africa Seeds will provide guidance, build the capacity of institutions, set structures and train the human resources within the seed production value chain. It will also propose activities that will improve Ghana’s seed quality and the seed industry.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, signed the MoU on behalf of the government, while the Executive Director of Africa Seeds, Dr Kouame Miezan, signed on behalf of his organisation.
Dr Akoto said the partnership was also expected to find solutions to one of the major challenges of the flagship agricultural transformation programmes, Planting for Food and Jobs.
He underscored the key role quality seeds played in building food and nutrition security, saying the success of the agricultural transformation agenda, as well as ensuring food and nutrition security, was founded on the use of improved quality seeds and fertilisers.
However, the minister indicated that Ghana was facing a challenge in the use of improved quality seeds, saying only 11 per cent of farmers used improved seeds and fertilisers.
For his part, Dr Miezan stated that the move was a collaboration to end seed insecurity in Ghana as part of the continental seed security agenda.
He described Ghana as a pioneer in seed development and a country that had attained appreciable growth in the sector, but indicated that having a modern, buoyant and privatised seed industry had proved elusive.
He was optimistic that the partnership would help in addressing most of the challenges in the country’s seeds industry.