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Value chain actors sensitised to seed legislation

BY: Graphic Business

Participants in a workshop on seed legislation have adopted a set of recommendations to be implemented by relevant authorities in the seed sector.

The recommendations included 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 (NSC); enhancing research, variety release and registration process.

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), in collaboration with USAID, has organised a two-day workshop (11-12 November) on “Development of Operational Guidelines for Seed Legislation in Ghana” for over 30 seed value chain actors at Akosombo in the Eastern Region.

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The workshop

The workshop formed part of AGRA and USAID’s support under the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) to Ghana to develop a sustainable private sector-led seed system for the country.

A statement issued by AGRA in Accra said participants in the two-day event reviewed National Seed Legislation Sensitisation and Implementation Guidelines.

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.


Seed quality

The President of NASTAG, Mr Thomas Havor, said it was 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”, he said.

The Seed System Specialist from NASC, Mr Folarin Sunday Okelola, 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 enabled farmers and other seed users to instantly verify the authenticity and genuineness of seed before purchase and use.

Delivering a statement, the Coordinator of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme, Mr Richard Twumasi-Ankrah, said the use of quality seed was of great importance to the PFJ which was a strategic means through which MoFA was 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 AGRA Regional Head for West Africa, Mr Forster Boateng, 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.