The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, and the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG), held the seventh annual Pre-season Planning and Networking Forum on March 30 in Ghana’s Northern Region.

The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed (second from left) and USAID/Ghana Deputy Mission Director, Steven E. Hendrix (center) awarded seed producers and agro-input dealers with seed vans (motorized vehicles) to assist them in reaching the most remote farming communities in Northern Ghana. Photo credit: Priscilla Addison, USAID/Ghana
The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed (second from left) and USAID/Ghana Deputy Mission Director, Steven E. Hendrix (center) awarded seed producers and agro-input dealers with seed vans (motorized vehicles) to assist them in reaching the most remote farming communities in Northern Ghana.
Photo credit: Priscilla Addison, USAID/Ghana
The event brought together 800 government officials, farmers, agribusinesses, processors, agro-input dealers, seed companies, and producers from across the country to build partnerships, establish market linkages, share lessons learned and coordinate planning for the upcoming planting season. The objective of the event is to create a platform for the agriculture sector to build more competitive businesses and enhance agricultural productivity in northern Ghana. In attendance were Northern Regional Minister Salifu Saeed and USAID/Ghana Deputy Mission Director Steven E. Hendrix.

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At the event, Honorable Saeed and Mr. Hendrix handed over 22 seed vans (motorized vehicles) to selected seed producers and agro-input dealers. These vans will assist them in reaching the most remote farming communities in Northern Ghana, to mitigate challenges these communities face accessing high-yielding seeds. Additionally, the event featured panel discussions and an exhibition of irrigation technology, farm and processing equipment, and improved seed varieties. Topics discussed included ways to increase access to finance for agribusinesses, the availability of high yielding seeds, and current investments made in northern Ghana.

“Today’s pre-season event is an important forum for catalyzing agriculture-led economic growth. It has linked hundreds of Ghanaian agribusinesses to local and international markets and fostered partnerships between farmers and agribusinesses,” said Mr. Hendrix.

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Through Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, USAID works with the Ghana Government and development partners to improve the competitiveness of the maize, rice and soybean value chains. Ghana is one of Feed the Future’s priority countries. In Ghana, Feed the Future works to increase agricultural competitiveness, with a focus on the three northern regions, by introducing farmers to new technologies and techniques that boost productivity, strengthening agricultural research, linking farmers and agribusinesses to markets, and stimulating private sector investment.