About 6,480 farmers from six districts in the Northern Region have been provided with free certified seed starter packs to boost food production in the area.
The starter packs included maize, rice and soya bean certified improved seeds. It also contained appropriate fertilisers and inoculum for soya beans.
The beneficiary farmers are from the Saboba, Tolon and Mion, Chereponi, West Mamprusi and West Gonja districts.
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This was announced at a seed and technology fair at Sang in the Mion District in the Northern Region on the theme: “Getting certified seeds to smallholder farmers.”
The fair was also intended to encourage farmers to embrace the use of certified improved seeds and also adopt good agronomic practices.
It is an initiative of Catholic Relief Service (CRS), in collaboration with International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) project and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).
It is aimed at scaling up the ATT project in 12 communities in each of the six beneficiary districts.
The Country Representative of CRS, Mr Kris H. Ozar, said apart from scaling up the use of certified seeds by farmers, the initiative would further help increase the incomes of farmers and also address the issues of hunger and malnutrition in rural communities. It also created a platform for farmers and agro-inputs dealers to do effective business.
The Deputy Chief of Party of IFDC/USAID-ATT, Dr Tara Wood, stated that apart from supporting the seed sector in the country to come out with improved certified seeds for farmers to increase their yields, the ATT project also addressed the issue of soil fertility to enable farmers to produce healthy food crops.
According to Dr Wood, when the incomes of farmers are increased, it will help reduce poverty and improve nutritional status of families.
The Northern Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr William Boakye-Acheampong, expressed appreciation for the project which, he said, had resulted in the construction of a modern seed laboratory for the Seed Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to ensure that farmers have access to quality certified seeds for planting.
He urged farmers to take advantage of the government’s subsidised fertiliser programme to increase production.
Some of the farmers also commended the CRS and USAID-ATT project for the support.
According to them, it will help enhance their farming activities and improve on their incomes.