By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Sept. 14, GNA - The Apex Farmers Organization of Ghana (APFOG) in collaboration with the Ghana Federation of Agriculture Producers (GFAP) has appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food and Agriculture to establish the National Seed Security Stock as stated in the National Seed Policy.
APFOG and GFAP said this would ensure the continuous availability of and access to quality seeds for their members to increase their productivity and ensure food security in the country.
This was contained in a statement issued in Tamale on Friday by APFOG signed by Mr Samuel Annan, its National Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale.
The statement formed part of the advocacy efforts of APFOG supported by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund, and their partners USAID, DANIDA and EU on the establishment of a national seed security stock.
It said as part of the advocacy action, APFOG carried out a research on its advocacy issue, which found that “a major challenge affecting distribution of inputs in general and seed in particular, is the deplorable conditions of many feeder roads in the country, which is a major disincentive for seed growers and agro-dealers to open up market links in rural areas due to high cost of transportation.”
The research said “the formal seed system in the country faces a number of constraints. The seed industry is too formal, with MoFA controlling about 80 per cent of the activities of the sector (registration of seed growers, cleaning and grading of seeds, seed inspection and certification, and packaging for sales only at the regional capitals) resulting in delays in service provision to the seed companies and consequent loss of productivity.
It said “the distribution system from the certified seed production stage to the farmers is normally poor, the total amount of seeds produced annually is said to be a third of what is purchased by farmers.”
The statement said “the establishment of a National Seed Security Stock as provided for by the National Seed Policy will improve availability of, and access to improved seed varieties by farmers and contribute to the successful implementation of the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.”
APFOG is an umbrella body of farmer-based organizations in the country with over 3,500 members across the country and its objective is to promote the interest of its members and advocate for farmer friendly policies to increase agricultural productivity and enhance national food security.