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Ghana News

Investing in Local Seed Production for Food Sufficiency in Ghana: A Call to Action

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Ghana’s chief research scientist, Prof. Marian D. Quain, has called for the country to stop importing seeds and instead invest in local seed production to achieve food sufficiency and take agriculture to the next level. According to Prof. Quain, the country has been importing seeds for crops such as maize and tomatoes, especially hybrid seeds. She stressed the need to invest in the production of seeds locally, citing the development of crop varieties at research level that could help achieve food sufficiency and provide a surplus for export.

Prof. Quain emphasized the importance of breeder seeds, which are the topmost seeds used to generate foundation and certified seeds. The Crop Research Institute of the council has developed hybrid crops such as tomatoes that have performed well in Ghana. However, due to the lack of funds, the breeder has not been able to produce enough varieties for the whole country. Prof. Quain called for the setting up of funds towards quality seed production and the establishment of a national research fund dedicated to research and resourcing the national agricultural research organizations.

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She also stressed the need for dedicated funds for research and the identification of research problems, as development partners may have their own scope which may not meet the country’s needs. She noted that the country’s inability to dedicate funds for scientific research posed a food security threat. The lack of funding has made it difficult to mass propagate seeds for dissemination, which limits the adoption of improved varieties and hybrid crops.

For the most part, the country’s attention to agriculture, crops, and crop varieties has been minimal. Prof. Quain called for more attention to be paid to crops such as yam, plantain, cassava, and cocoyam, for which Ghana is a custodian. Investing in the local production of seeds would not only achieve food sufficiency but also provide employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth.

In a nutshell, the call to stop importing seeds and invest in local seed production is a step in the right direction towards achieving food sufficiency and promoting economic growth in Ghana. The establishment of dedicated funds towards quality seed production and research would also be beneficial to the country’s agricultural sector.

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