Seed growers have been called upon to provide quality seeds for farmers to enable them to reap better yields and maximise their returns.
Making the call, Henry Crentsil Jnr, Eastern Regional Director of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), particularly urged the Seed Growers Association of Ghana to to ensure that, local growers produce quality seeds for the farmers to achieve good yields.
He said these during a regional joint sector review meeting organised by MOFA in Koforidua on Wednesday on the theme, ‘Improving, planning, coordination and results managements for food and jobs’.
The meeting brought together national, regional, municipal and district directors as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) and private stakeholders in the agriculture sector to assess performances, identify bottlenecks and discuss issues that would lead to the growth and development of the sector.
According to Mr Crentsil, a lot of the seeds, especially maize and rice which were provided and sold to farmers by the association, were of poor quality, causing farmers to have poor yields and loss of investments.
“Over the years, we have identified this challenge of poor quality seeds supply, and we think that, it is about time stakeholders get robust with these seed growers and ensure that the farmers were provided with the right quality of seeds,” he said.
Mr Crentsil said seed was the development or foundation of agricultural development, hence providing farmers with low quality seed would not only hamper their development, but that of the agriculture sector of which they were part.
He said the situation was worrying, revealing that most of the time his outfit or extension officers had to apologise to farmers in such situations.
The Regional Director said it was essential for the seed growers, who were mainly in the private sector but regulated by the ministry, to follow recommended practices in growing seeds to ensure their quality before they flood it on the market for farmers to access it, adding, “That would ensure high yields for farmers and the growth of the agriculture sector.”
Speaking on the state of Planting for Food and Jobs programme, Mr Crentsil revealed that the beneficiaries have increased from 16,968 in 2017 to 58,484 in 2018, hoping that the number would increase this year due to lots of sensitisation.
He called on all stakeholders especially municipal and district assemblies to show high commitment towards the programme and other agricultural initiatives for the benefits of all and the agricultural sector.
For his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour, called for a robust and comprehensive agricultural strategic plan and sustain efforts to ensure the sector reaped the necessary benefits.
He called on all stakeholders in the sector to ensure the success of the government’s initiatives for the development of the agricultural sector.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA