The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), has commissioned a project to ensure that farmers have access to quality inputs leading to high productivity in Accra.

Old women
Old women

The project supported by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa is also to ensure market access and sustainable income.

Professor Joseph Awetori Yaro, a Lead Researcher speaking at the sensitisation and validation workshop on farmers’ access to quality inputs said the project seeks to ensure proper policies, laws and regulatory framework were put in place for inputs.

He said the project was also to increase collaborative role between the state and the private input suppliers for advocacy with the belief in the efficiency of open markets.

He said although Africans have built good national systems for seed production, majority of small scale farmers were not using the improved varieties produced.

He said the private sector played a minor role in reaching African smallholder farmers with only two per cent of seeds used by peasant farmers in sub-Saharan Africa coming from seed companies.

The lead Researcher said the poor development of network and a value chain with effective private sector participation was one of the reasons for deprived uptake of these technologies.

Prof Yaro said there were so many factors accounting for the poor adoption of hybrid improved seeds including cost of seeds, poverty, taste, disease resistance and stability yield and limited free promotional samples.

“Major problems encountered in producing or accessing good quality seeds are lack of money, lack of storage facilities, unavailability of preferred seeds and poor quality seeds,” he added.

On the poor usage of fertilizer, he said there were a number of reasons including the high cost in the open market, corruption, bureaucracy in distribution, transportation challenges and fear that fertilizers would destroy the soil.

Dr Joseph Teye, Lecturer, University of Ghana said education on fertilizer use should be an integral part of the agriculture education circular at all level for farmers in different agro-ecological zones.

He said both the national and fertilizer policies could also be credited for providing strategies for extension services.

He recommended the development of a modern seeds with traditional taste attributes and resilience and made the seeds affordable through subsidies.

He said there should be the training of local seed growers especially mid-size farmers with the capacity to sustain production.

The Lecturer said with policy directions, government should build effective and efficient seed value-chain by making sure state providers of foundation and breeders seeds were reliable and produced to adequate quantities.

Dr Teye said donors should support private research institutions, companies and universities to go into sustainable production of seeds with links abroad for modern technologies.

Mr Charles Nyaaba, Programmes officer, PFAG said the Association would engage with parliament and Ministry of Food and Agriculture to find ways of addressing these challenges.
GNA

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.