The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in collaboration with USAID has organized a two-day workshop on “Development of Operational Guidelines for Seed Legislation in Ghana” for over 30 seed value chain actors at Akosombo, Eastern Region from 11 – 12 November, 2020.
The workshop forms part of support offered by AGRA and the USAID under the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) to the Government of Ghana to develop a sustainable private sector led seed system for the country.
Participants at the two-day workshop reviewed National Seed Legislation Sensitization and Implementation Guidelines prepared by Mr. Josiah Wobil, an International Seed Consultant and made recommendations for the way forward. The participants were drawn from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), National Seed Traders Association of Ghana (NASTAG), Seed Producers Association of Ghana, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, Crop Research Institute, Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, the Farmers Organization Network of Ghana and the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Nigeria.
Mr. Thomas Havor, President of NASTAG said it is important for all stakeholders to understand the seed legislation and make significant contributions to improve the industry. “Mistakes in industry are due to the lack of understanding. The workshop has given us the opportunity to understand the seed legislation and make it easy for us to improve our operations to benefit all – seed producers, seed traders, farmers and food consumers.”
Mr. Folarin Sunday Okelola, Seed System Specialist from NASC gave an overview of the Nigerian seed system and shared experience on seed production and marketing in his country. He expressed NASC’s willingness to support Ghana with the operation of a National Seed Tracker for real time tracking of seed production and trade, quality management and e-certification of seed producers as well as an electronic seed authentication system (SEEDCODEX) which enables farmers and other seed users to instantly verify the authenticity and genuineness of seed before purchase and use.
Mr. Richard Twumasi-Ankrah, Coordinator of the Government of Ghana’s Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Programme delivered a statement on behalf of MoFA. He said, the use of quality seed is of great importance to the PFJ which is a strategic means through which MoFA is promoting farmers’ access to and use of certified seeds. He expressed MoFA’s appreciation to AGRA and its partners for their continuous support to the seed sector in Ghana.
The participants after working in groups on the topical areas of Research and Variety Development; Seed Production; Marketing and Utilization; Oversight, Regulatory and Coordination; Budgetary Support, Mobilization and Sustainability adopted a set of recommendations to be implemented by relevant authorities in the seed sector. The recommendations include the establishment of a Seed Development Fund; a National Awareness Campaign; development of technical papers on Strengthening Seed Quality Control and Certification, Strengthening the National Seed Council; Enhancing Research, Variety Release and Registration Process.
Delivering the closing remarks, Mr. Forster Boateng, AGRA Regional Head for West Africa urged stakeholders in the seed sector to “give a last push” to the legislation to see development in the country’s seed sector. He said for the next 10 years, AGRA’s interventions in Ghana will focus on building momentum for a sustainable Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT) through strategic partnerships.
Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led, Africa-based and farmer-centered institution working to put smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming their farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. Working in collaboration with our partners including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – men and women who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. In the new strategy for 2017-2021, AGRA is supporting 11 African countries and 30 million smallholder farm households (150 million individuals) to increase their incomes and improve their food security. For more information, visit www.agra.org, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube