The President of Seed Producers Association of Ghana (SEEDPAG) Mr. Patrick Appollah has said that apart from all factors involved in Agricultural production, the use of quality or certified seed as well as its availability , accessibility and affordability is the most important determinant of the quality of a nation’s agriculture.
According to him, the desire to achieve food security and food self-sufficiency in the country requires adequate quantities of certified seeds of all classes being produce and effectively distributed to the farmers in the rural areas where the bulk of the of the food is produced.
Mr. Appollah speaking at a workshop on dialoguing with policy makers on the SEED FUN at the Miklin Hotel conference Hall at Accra entreated that all players in the seed value chain have their various roles to play to achieve the aim of adequate food production and to do this requires funds to support the activities at all levels of the seed chain.
He added that the Plant and the Fertilizer Act 2010, Act 803 has adequately provided for that and in section 115 of the Act call for the establishment of plants Fertilizer Fund to promote the various activities within the Seed Value Chain so as to achieve the objectives of getting farmers to adopt the use of certified seeds and increase agriculture production and also for effective management of the seed industry.
He has passionately called on the minister of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Fiifi Kwetey who is also the chairman of the National Seed Council to be the chairperson of the Seed Fund Committee and also be reminded to know the urgency of the situation and act accordingly as the act makes provision of that.
Hon. Bright Demordzi, a member of the select committee on Food , Agric and Cocoa in parliament speaking on behalf of the Agric minister, Hon. Fiifi Kwetey said the importance of seed to any crop based production system cannot be over emphasized, but it is the fundamental unit of any production system since it is the source of life.
He noted that, in Ghana and perhaps the sub-Sahara Africa, seed is arguably the most important production factor and perhaps the cheapest inputs for crop production.
According to him majority of small scale farmers in Ghana mainly get their seeds from the informal channels which includes farmers own seed, seed exchanges among farmers and finally purchases from the local grain or seed markets.
Hon Demordzi noted that seed development in Ghana has recent times witnessed increase investment culminating in the release of several varieties of crops such as maize, sorghum, millet, groundnut and cowpea adding that the availability of these new varieties coupled with the promotional efforts of government and its development partners, the awareness and adoption of these new varieties seem to be low as a result of the weak seed delivery systems in place.