Use of unapproved seeds for Planting for Food and Jobs led to low yields – Bambangi

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Tue, 26 Jun 2018 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Deputy Agric Minister, Dr Sagre Bambangi has disclosed that the use of unapproved and uncertified seeds by some farmers resulted in low yields in some parts of the country.

Dr Bambangi asserts that some farmers resorted to the use of grains from their produce after harvest or buy low-cost seeds for their farming activities.

He noted that this trend which has been in existence for some time now partially feeds into the notion that farming was not lucrative and unattractive.

The deputy minister reiterated the need for the use of approved seeds by farmers by buttressing his claim with the farmers in the Sissala East and West District of the Upper West Region who recorded high yields after using the approved seeds.

According to him, these were revealed during the just ended pilot phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative embarked on by government.

“The seed subsector in this country has not being a standard one because you find a lot of farmers using the grains or the harvest from their farm to plant and biologically these seeds or planting directly from the farms do not yield as well as approved seeds that are produced by the scientists and which are multiplied by the specialized seed growers. So we are trying to step up that area so that at least we have more improved seeds, if we have more improved seeds, then you will be able to achieve the standard yields in Agriculture. For instance there are some farmers who plant maize in an acre and they do not even get up to four bags that is 100kg bags of maize but if you use improved seeds and you go according to the agronomic practices you should be able to get at least 10 100kg bags of maize from an acre and there are even fields that can give you at least 15-20 maxi bags of maize” he explained.

To this end, the Ministry of Agriculture has initiated a programme to train and increase the capacities of specialized seed growers to meet the demand and also collaborate with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to come out with standard, certified and approved seeds that will meet the needs of the farmers and the demands of the market.

He added that the situation influenced government’s decision to reduce the prices of approved seeds by 50% for its flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs after it was noticed that some of the farmers relied on the uncertified seeds.

Addressing the media on the side lines of a breakfast meeting on “Innovative Financing of Commercial Agriculture” in Ghana, the deputy Agriculture Minister remarked, “We are collaborating with our research institution CSIR and the Grains and Legumes Development Board who will intend work with some other seed growers so that some good foundation seed will be developed and then multiplied by the seed producers so that we can step up the supply of good seeds to our farmers.”

CEO of GIPC, Yofi Grant was upbeat about the opportunities that the Agricultural sector could provide to investors.

He noted that the sector has received lots of interests from both local and foreign investors and insisted that government was doing much more to resolve the challenges currently hindering the fast expansion of the sector.

Yofi Grant however emphasized that it was long overdue for the country to move into more mechanised farming methods and move away from the current ways of farming.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com